Springhill Road bridge project is a go - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Springhill Road bridge project is a go

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE,  GA (WALB) - Thomas county taxpayers are still dealing with problems from spring flooding.

A well-traveled road in the southern part of the county has been blocked for the past five months after heavy rain destroyed a culvert under the road.

But starting Monday, frustrated residents will get some relief.

Residents in the area surrounding Springhill road have voiced one request for the past several months, they want a washed out road replaced so they can get to work without having to drive six miles out of the way.

County commissioners were waiting to see if FEMA could put in a new bridge, but the word is that could take two to four years.

So on Monday, commissioners decided taxpayers had waited long enough. They're going to build the bridge at the county's expense.

Greg Shepard is fed up.

"This bridge being out has been the biggest inconvenience," he said.

Everyday he drives on Springhill Road. And everyday he's confronted with an enormous obstacle.

"We're tired of it we're ready to get this thing fixed," said Shepard.

Heavy rain during Tropical Storm Fay damaged the culvert that used to lie underneath the road. The county replaced that culvert three months later, only April flooding blew out the bridge culvert again and destroyed the paved road.

"It's frustrating, definitely frustrating," said Chase Lee who lives on Springhill road. When he heard the news that the county commission voted to begin construction on a new bridge next Monday, he was elated.

He says a repaired road will save his family nearly 150 dollars a month in gas.

"It's at least six miles out the way one-way. And we have two vehicles," he said. The County public works director says they waited so long hoping to get FEMA funding. For now, FEMA will pay just more than $70,000 for the $200,000 project.

"We understand disaster's happen, but it's a shame how they've handled it," he said.

"Whether it has to do with FEMA, the county, whatever, it just needs to get done," said Shepard.

According to officials, it will "get done" beginning first thing Monday morning, and as residents put it, finally taking them off the county's back burner.

Public Works Director Tony Wooten anticipates the road being back in service with a brand new bridge by November 1st.

Public works has two future projects in the works, two drainage structures on Summerhill road and two on Hall road need repairing so they can be better prepared for future flooding.

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