One of the bright spots on the south end of Columbus has suffered a huge setback officials didn’t expect to occur for a few decades down the road.
Drive out South Lumpkin Road and you might wonder what ever happened to the nicely paved road now covered by Georgia red clay. Along with the work, the two lanes of traffic have been reduced to one as crews replace about 2.5 miles of failed 30-inch sewer pipe from Fort Benning to the South Columbus Water Resource Facility in Columbus.
Work is underway possibly through the end of June to replace the sewer pipe and avoid a major failure in the line due to excessive corrosion, said Vic Burchfield, vice president of Information, Security & Environmental Services. The last of the old pipes were removed Thursday, and the main work left is to repave the road.
“We were planning on being done sooner, but the bad weather we had during the project has pushed the completion date,” Burchfield said.
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The Water Works was forced to dig up the corroded pipe after only eight years of service and replace it with high-density polyethylene pipe, which shouldn’t face the same problems in the wastewater environment.
Almost $5.1 million have been spent on the project so far, and it will take another $400,000 to complete the paving, Burchfield said. Columbus residents aren’t footing the bill because the line serves Fort Benning, where the Water Works manages the water system for the post.
South Lumpkin Road is used to reach the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center and the Hampton Inn Columbus hotel. Visitors to the hotel and the Infantry Museum use Fort Benning Road while the construction is underway.
“It hasn’t caused us any real problems,” said Cyndy Cerbin, director of communications for the Infantry Museum. “They have a flag crew out there, and it’s narrowed to one lane, but we can get through when we need to, and all of our guests can as well. There haven’t been any real problems because of it. We are anxious for it to get done.”
Cerbin said about 400 to 500 guests are expected for a series of events starting at 9 a.m. Monday. There is a Memorial Day Mini Camp for children ages 5-11, a Paver Dedication Ceremony on Heritage Walk and a Flag Retirement Ceremony behind the museum.
Other than the Infantry Museum and hotel traffic, Burchfield said Oxbow Meadows traffic will be detoured through the Infantry Museum and hotel parking areas. You might need to practice some patience if you’re headed to the area on Memorial Day.
“The Columbus Water Works appreciates the continued patience of the community and motorists during the last month of this project,” Burchfield said.
If you see something that needs attention, give me a call at 706-571-8576.