Published Saturday, March 02, 2013

Sprayberry Road work hits underground snag; project delayed

By JOHN A. WINTERS

john@newnan.com

Work on what is known as the “Sprayberry intersection” has hit a snag, or rather an old gasoline tank.

Crews with the Georgia Department of Transportation were out last week drilling holes for traffic signals when they hit an abandoned gas storage tank, said city officials.

According to Mayor Keith Brady, who spoke before the White Oak Golden K Kiwanis Club on Thursday, the tanks are believed to be at least 50 years old, and are on the site where Duncan’s Barbecue used to be, which also was a gasoline station at some time.

City Engineer Michael Klahr said the tanks were removed and soil backfilled.

“Soil samples have been sent off to determine if there is any contamination/remedial action required,” Klahr said.

“We are waiting for that before the contractor resumes work in that area.”

City Manager Cleatus Phillips said the tanks, believed to hold 1,000 gallons and 500 gallons, respectively, were empty and did not have any vapors remaining. Construction crews will continue working in other areas, but the DOT will not resume work until the state’s Environmental Protection Division gives the all-clear.

Brady told the Golden K club “no one thought of gas tanks on that site.”

But he also said it wasn’t the first time the city has started a construction project and found something they didn’t expect.

During the construction of the new city hall on LaGrange Street a few years ago, crews started hitting lots of soft soil, the mayor said. Turned out that site used to be a livery stable.

“We ended up removing about $60,000 worth of manure,” he joked. “You never know what you will hit until you dig.”

Plans call for realigning the streets along Sprayberry Road, Roscoe Road and Jackson Street to ease congestion.

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