August 6, 2014

College Square Closed Through Weekend After Flooding


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

College Square will be closed to traffic for an estimated five days while Athens-Clarke County workers fix the damage from a water main break.

An 80- or 90-year-old 12-inch pipe burst underneath the sidewalk Tuesday evening, flooding the basement of the Subway at the corner of Broad and Clayton streets and a vacant space next door, as well as the nearby sidewalks and streets, according to ACC officials.

The Public Utilities Department laid a new 16-inch water main along College Avenue about six or eight years ago, PUD Director Gary Duck said, but some businesses on College Square had not tied into the new line. They were going to tie in as part of a Clayton Street streetscape project early next year, he said.

Similar utility work was completed on Jackson and Clayton streets earlier this year, but "we did not have time to finish that on College before school started back," Duck said. That work was suspended to avoid snarling traffic during football season.

PUD will not repair the old line, but will close it off and go ahead and hook up buildings to the newer line, Duck said.

Meanwhile, the ACC Transportation and Public Works Department is ripping up the sidewalks to determine if there's any damage or soil erosion underneath, ACC spokesman Jeff Montgomery said.

After closing Tuesday night and briefly reopening, the block closed again Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to be closed through the weekend, although Duck said it's possible work might not be finished until "the first of next week."

"The idea is to get in there quickly and try to get it knocked out before school starts, before football season," Montgomery said. Classes at the University of Georgia start Monday, Aug. 18.

Subway was closed on Wednesday morning. A-OK Cafe is closed for unrelated renovations, and Walker's Coffee and Pub and Starbucks were open. 

"Most of the other places I heard about were very [minimally damaged]," Montgomery said.

Safety and risk officials with the ACC Human Resources Department are still assessing the damage, interim director Lisa Ward said.


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones