Albany Ramp builders hammer new record structure - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Ramp builders hammer new record structure

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The Ramp Builders with the SOWEGA Council on Aging have beaten their all time record, building the largest and longest ramp in their history.

A 99 foot long structure that will help the mobility of the Grant family. The Ramp Builders have been building ramps for people in need for more than 15 year, averaging 80 ramps a year. But Thursday morning's was  their biggest build to date, as they helped the Grant family.

83 year old Leila Grant has trouble getting into and out of her home on Willis Drive, because the door is six feet off the ground.

Grant said "I got to catch hold off everything till I get down there on the steps, and then I got to step down and have me a stick."

Her house is elevated because it's in the flood zone. And even the veteran ramp builders admitted this may have been their most challenging.

Ramp Builders Coordinator Jim Hill said "It's a tough one, but it's needed."

99 feet of challenge. The pitch of the slope can only be so steep, so the ramp had to be this long to handle the height. Most ramps take only 2 hours to build, but this one will take twice as long. But the ramp builders are happy, because they know how tough it is to be trapped in your house.

Paul Youngblood said "Believe it or not, if you haven't been in the sun for a while, you really miss it."

All of the ramp builders are in their 70's and 80's themselves, so they say helping people is very satisfying.

Hill said "When we walk up to a place, there is no way for the individual to get out of their house. When we walk away, they have a conduit to get out."

And as Grant stepped onto her new ramp, her new walk to freedom, she said it would make a big improvement in their lives.

Grant said "I really been needing one, but there wasn't anything I could do but wait. So the time is changing for me."

A record breaking ramp for the builders, 99 feet of wood, but such a meaningful help to the Grant's home.@

The ramp builders say they expect to build more of these long ramps, as they are called to more highly build flood zone homes in South Albany. But with their experience, they say they are ready.

Phoebe Putney Hospital donates $25,000 a year in community benefit money to fund the ramp building projects.

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