A culvert on County Line Road failed last week, forcing city officials to shut down the two-lane road just west of Central Church Road.
Ron Hamlett, manager of the traffic engineering, said dirt has been pulled away from the culvert over the years beneath the pavement. Officials found some gaps in the piping of the culvert and the road is sheared in places.
Hamlett said there is concern that the road could collapse from heavy vehicles.
“We shut it down,” he said. “The pavement already had started shearing, ready to collapse.”
Until repairs are completed on the road, detour signs are posted along County Line, Midland Road and Central Church Road.
A short-term fix for the culvert could take 30 days or long term could require three to six months.
An engineering consultant will determine which method will be used to fix the culvert.
“If it’s something we can do to get it open, that may be in a time frame of about 30 days,” Hamlett said. “If it turns out, we are going to have to replace the culvert and rebuild part of the road, then we are talking about three to six months.”
Replacing the culvert will take longer because the city will need permits approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Even nowadays, you can’t even build something in the stream bed,” Hamlett said. “All of that stuff has to be evaluated. Right now we are waiting on a consultant to give us a recommendation on whether we can do something short term or it’s something we are going to have to bite the bullet and go ahead and get something designed.”
Because the road is located in the outlying part of the county, detours could take some residents several miles out of their way to get home.
“It’s a part of the county that doesn’t have a road network to it,” Hamlett said. “All those tracts are real large tracks.”Hamlett said residents in the area will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.