Albany's ailing infrastructure is crumbling - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany's ailing infrastructure is crumbling

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's aging infrastructure is in need of repairs and city engineers estimate it could take as much as $50 million to make a dent.

Some of the problems became evident when more than a foot of rain in less than a week overwhelmed the storm and sanitary sewer system. Public works says that amount of water would cause problems for any system, but pumps are still working overtime in parts of the city even though the sun's been shining since Tuesday.

When rains fell two weeks ago, flood waters were deep near the intersection of Walnut Street and Waddell Drive.

"The alley all the way back to the road down there, the people over there they almost got flooded," said James Spurlin, a neighbor.

Three pumps were brought in to bypass problems at station 40, pumps that are still churning.

"They really haven't bothered us," said Spurlin.

The station built in 1960 turns 50 next year and its aging pipes are at a point where they've outlasted their usefulness.

"The bad thing about clay pipe is it's prone to cracking and when you have cracking that's when you stay having inflow problems and infiltration problems," said Albany City Engineer, Bruce Maples.

It's happening too at stations on Mobile and 11th Avenues. Before the flooding the city was working on a master plan to fix the ailing system but say they need financing.

"We're looking at stimulus money to try and help out, we're looking at sales tax six, we have a little money that we can put toward station four which is this pump station we have about $400,000, but your right $400,000 doesn't go a long way," said Maples.

Residents who live near these stations hope the city will find the funding before flood waters rise again.

"I want them to take care of it, I don't want no water in my house," said Spurlin.

So the next time hard rains hit Albany, the problems won't be further aggravated by outdate pipes.

City engineer Bruce Maples says engineers plan to meet again with city leaders once the clean up is complete to again talk about what are the most necessary repairs and how they can move forward with projects to replace clay pipes with PVC.

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