Pipe repairs could keep DeKalb road closed for another couple of weeks

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

It could be another month before a damaged drainage pipe is repaired and DeKalb County will reopen a busy road.

DECATUR, Ga. - It could be another couple of weeks before a damaged drainage pipe is repaired and DeKalb County will reopen a busy road.

Many neighbors told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that can't come too soon after they've endured a month of living in a virtual construction zone.

"This has been going on for a month, and we were told it was only going to last a week," said neighbor Steve Markham.

Atlanta Gas Light closed Katie Kerr Road, which connects South Columbia Drive to College Drive in Decatur, because it needed to replace an old pipe.

Initially, crews thought the project would last only a week. However, during the repairs, crews discovered a severely damaged 6-foot wide drainage pipe that belonged to DeKalb County.

County officials said they needed to repair that damaged pipe and asked AGL to keep the road closed during the project.

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"Unfortunately, the only way to repair and replace a 6-foot pipe is to tear up the road," said DeKalb County spokesperson Burke Brennan. "It is an inconvenience, and we're moving as expeditiously as possible. Like them, we did not know until it was discovered that it was damaged. It is a safety issue if we don't deal with it."

While the repair project has been going on, residents who live off of Katie Kerr Road have had restricted access to their neighborhoods, sometimes waiting several minutes to allow construction trucks or other cars to pass along the one traffic lane still open.

"It's almost like we've been prisoners in our own community for the past month because of this project," said Markham who has started an online petition to get the county to repave Katie Kerr, add sidewalks, streetlights and a bike lane.

Others are trying to deal with it as best they can. Longtime resident Katherine Ann Dorsey brought a gallon jug of tea to the crews.

"They are wonderful," said Dorsey. "I come out each day, and I ask them if they need any water or something to drink."

DeKalb County said heavy rains have hampered the repair project which was supposed to end by this weekend.

Crews do not know when it will be finished, and they will be able to reopen Katie Kerr Road.


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