By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
Work to repair the giant sinkhole in Hart County is going to take a lot longer than expected.
On Monday the Georgia Department of Transportation announced the completion date has been pushed back from August 24th to October 13th.
GDOT spokesperson Teri Pope says the delay was caused by the time it took to reroute various utilities.
“Georgia DOT has been working with the contractor doing the repairs,” Pope said. “He had hoped to make up time from the long delay during utility relocations, but he was not able to. The relocation work took about 10 weeks. That work was necessary to maintain fire protection.”
Other utilities, such as cable TV, telephone, and electric power lines also had to be rerouted so water crews could work unimpeded and services would not stop.
“So far, we have removed about 10,000lbs of dirt from the work zone. This is a massive repair and it seems like every step along the way has taken longer than expected,” Pope said. “But we want to get it done right, so that’s why it’s taking so long. Please bear with us as we work to repair the sinkhole at Lake Hartwell.”
Additionally, a berm had to be built at the bottom of the hole to hold back the waters of Lake Hartwell and create a dry work area for the repair crews.
Pope said crews plan to remove the broken culvert pipe this week and begin installing the new pipe.
Meantime, motorists should continue to use the detour route around the sinkhole.