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Sanders Road to remain closed for now
Commission votes to pay half of temporary repairs
WEB 1 Sanders closed jd
Sanders Road will remain closed until permanent repairs are made - photo by Jim Dean

Sanders Road will remain closed while officials determine what needs to be done to repair the roadway.

The road was originally closed following a May 19 storm, during which the Lake Alice Dam was breached sending a rush of water across the road and into a Lake Lanier cove, causing clouding of the water and damage to the road.

While the road was reopened after receiving some patch work, it has again been closed to “allow for further review of the roadways to determine what repairs may be necessary,” said county spokeswoman Jodi Gardner.

No date has been set for the road to reopen.

Cumming Planning & Zoning Department Director Scott Morgan said with recent rains, there is some concern about the road’s safety.

“Everyone’s in agreement there needs to be some further engineering work to determine what needs to be done with the road and culvert,” Morgan said.

Danny Bennett, who does contract work with the city, said the city did temporary repair work to get the road open for shoppers and Lake goers prior to the Memorial Day holiday.

“After the repair, we had two main events that were of high frequency rain where you get a lot of rain in a short period of time,” Bennett said. “If we kept getting these flash flood events, we didn’t want to take a chance of the storm water and the culvert letting water top over the road, which would create a very unsafe condition for people driving.”

The city, county, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division are working together for a more permanent solution, Morgan said.

“They knew that was a short-term solution,” Morgan said. “I think now there’s got to be a long-term, or permanent solution.

“You can’t have a road out there that might be compromised ... I think everybody’s just erring on the side of caution because of public safety.”

Bennett said the road could reopen if there’s a long break in rain, but it’s likely the road will remain closed until a permanent solution is implemented. Repairs are still being discussed, but the culvert beneath the road is undersized, Bennett said, and it will need to be replaced.

“The city and county are cooperating with each other, making sure that from an environmental standpoint, that everything’s what it needs to be and they’re working on getting the required permits to replace that culvert,” Bennett said.

The resolution states the road generally belongs to the county, however a 50-foot area near where the lake waters caused damage is city owned and maintained.

The resolution also says “Forsyth County believes, due to its ownership and maintenance of at least a portion of the impacted area of Sanders Road, that it has an obligation to contribute toward interim repairs of Sanders Road.”

As for future repairs to fix the road and culvert, Bennett said the “county and the city are discussing those repairs as far as the funding and who pays what.”

On Tuesday Forsyth County commissioners voted 4-0, with Chairman Pete Amos recusing himself, in favor of a resolution contributing $16,000 toward the cost of the temporary repairs already completed by the the city.