NEWTON, GA (WALB) - A grant and a partnership between Baker and Mitchell counties are helping make long-needed repairs to roads in Baker County.
One of the roads many Baker County residents use to travel down frequently is now open and safe, thanks to a partnership with Mitchell County and a non-profit conservation organization.
"It's been awhile since I been down it, but it does look a lot better," said Baker County resident Kelly Smith.
Smith said Thursday was the first day he traveled down Colquitt Ford Road in Baker County in a year and a half.
The entire road was shut down for a month while crews worked to repair an issue that has been a problem since 2014.
"After several rain events back in 2014, we had a major blowout on this road with the culvert," Baker County Manager Sherry Bailey.
A culvert pipe carrying a stream of water under a road completely collapsed, leaving a huge hole in the road and the county with a large bill that was difficult to pay.
"Some of the quotes we received were extremely high and we were able to talk with one of our commissioners, Van Irvin. He allowed us to use his labor force and also his equipment," said Bailey.
They were able to do a partial repair, however, because of the flow of the water in the creek, they knew they would have another blowout.
That led officials to reach out to Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council to help them pay for the $120,000 repair project in February.
"Because of the Clean Water Air Act, we were able to get the grant and we partnered with Baker County to do restorations on the road," said Julie Shutters, the implementation manager at Golden Triangle Resource Conservation Development Council.
Now with assistance from Golden Triangle and Mitchell County road crews, they have an additional culvert, crush and run and turnouts to control dirty water from flowing in the creek and holes into the street.
"They done a real good job and I think it's going to be a great improvement to the road," said Smith.
Because of this technique for better back roads project, now the County and Golden Triangle Conservation will teach other counties how to do this and use its project as a model.