Columbus, Benning yet to estimate flood recovery costs


Heavy holiday rains washed out this slope on Bradley Circle.
Heavy holiday rains washed out this slope on Bradley Circle.

Raw earth and downed trees mark two sites in Columbus that will require engineers’ expertise to repair after heavy rains over the holidays resulted in hillsides giving way.

Because city administrators have yet to see and choose designs for anchoring those slopes to prevent further erosion, they cannot estimate what repairs will cost, said Donna Newman, director of engineering.

One landslide looms over the Chattahoochee RiverWalk on the north side of Bradley Circle, a loop road at the dead end of 29th Street. The ground there gave way both above and below the RiverWalk.

The other is on the south side of Eighth Street across from 33rd Avenue, in the Carver Heights neighborhood, where the city has cleared much of the debris but still has to mend the damage.

Completing designs for those projects could take a month to six weeks, Newman said.

Pat Biegler, director of public works, said most of the RiverWalk has been cleared, except for areas around Oxbow Meadows off South Lumpkin Road, where flooding damaged fences and left brush and silt on the path.

Like Columbus, Fort Benning also has yet to assess and estimate what its repairs will cost, post officials said. Benning had to close multiple roads because of the flooding caused by downpours over Christmas.

Across the river in Russell County, Emergency Management Director Bob Franklin said the total repairs for both the city and county could total $1.6 million, though federal aid could reduce that cost to local governments. The primary issue in the county was washed-out roads.

“We’ve got to get them fixed whether we get the federal money or not,” he said.

He said Bowden Road and Leroy Road remained closed Thursday. He was unsure about those already under repair.