By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Sanders Road reopens near Cumming
DSC 3808 web

CUMMING -- It’s been a long process, but after three years Sanders Road is open to traffic again.

Officials with the city of Cumming opened the road during a ceremony on Thursday morning. The road was opened three years and one week after the collapse of a nearby dam during a period of heavy rain ultimately led to its closure.

The road caved in as a result of excess water and sediment moving underneath it through an undersized culvert after the earthen dam holding back the former Lake Alice breached on May 19, 2013.

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt apologized to those who were affected by the road’s closing and said that he has heard from many residents in the area.

“We appreciate all of the interest, and for the inconvenience, as far as the city is concerned, we apologize for that,” Gravitt said.

“I have relatives that have called me about this. I have friends that live on this road and they use this road. All of us do. We had to work within the parameters that we had to with the [agreement] with the county and try to work with all the citizens and permits that we had to obtain to do this.”

Work done on the road includes the installation of a new double box culvert under the road and removing and replacing damaged sections of the road, along with reinstalling utilities and widening the road’s shoulders.

The city and Forsyth County government split the $434,000 cost to repair the road.

Work on the road began in November with an initial completion date of Dec. 31, though work was delayed by periods of heavy rain.

“The intent was always to open the road, and we certainly tried to work with all of the entities involved with it,” said Scott Morgan, the city’s director of planning and zoning. “It’s been a complex process, but we’ve gotten through it and we’re happy to be standing here and have the road open today.”

The area around the Lake Alice Dam breach has been returned to its natural state, which was prior to the construction of the dam some 80 years ago.

Morgan said recently that crews are working to clear the sediment from Little Ridge Cove on Lake Lanier, which was impacted by silt and sediment following the dam’s collapse.

The event was not without some controversy, as a protestor repeatedly asked about the length of the project and the work that was done and held a sign critical of the three-year time frame.