COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – It has been nine months now that Warm Springs Road near Miller Road and Manchester Expressway has been closed off to through traffic. The road was shut down back in January after it was deemed a failed structure.
At that time, no temporary repairs could be made. The structure failed due to age and heavy rainfall.
The city began its process of investigating at the end of 2020. Since then they have been actively studying and surveying the area.
Businesses in the area say the time periods extended closure is bad for business. Owner, Willy Herold of Willy Herold Automotive says they get calls every day from customers who can’t get to them.
Herold says, “the economic impact for us is unmeasurable, the inconvenience for everyone having to come around and turn around and even everyone from the lake apartments it’s a big inconvenience.”
Willy Herold Automotive has 18 wheeler trucks that come through the area often. When these trucks are unable to pass through, they are forced to back down a two-lane road about half a mile.
Donna Newman is the Director of Engineering for the City of Columbus and she says, “This one was somewhat more complicated in that it was a studied mapped stream which meant that you had to work within the limits of the established flood plains.”
The city says adding a new structure around a body of water can have a large impact on surrounding properties. With the heavy rainfall that we have had this year, it has been difficult to get into the stream in order to do the proper investigations and surveys.
Residents and businesses in the area say they have not seen any progress in the last nine months and are wondering how long this will last.
Newman says, “Sometimes on a larger project, it can take as much as a year to get designed. Given the time of year and the weather extremes we had to deal with during this period, I think we’ve done fairly well on getting it designed to this point.”
This week preliminary designs were approved. Newman says the next step and a possible challenge they will face is getting the box covert. With the pandemic and the shortage of materials and workers, they expect the project to take an additional 8 to 12 months.