Local News

2/16/2013

‘Not working fast enough’

By NIKKI WILEY The Brunswick News

Two Brunswick neighborhoods are getting new storm drain systems, but one resident says it hasn't come fast enough.

City crews will begin work on storm drains along Cleburne Street after a low bidder is selected and plans for Habersham Park are finalized.

Barbara Ouattara, who lives on Cleburne Street, addressed Brunswick city commissioners about the condition of the roadway in November.

The road is cracked, littered with potholes and unsafe for drivers, she said.

Now, the city is looking to repave the road from R to N streets, and is in the process of updating its storm drain system, said City Engineer Dan McFee.

"The reason the paving is being mentioned is that the citizens that live along there were concerned that we had all of the holes along the street that were caused by the storm drain," McFee said.

Over the years, workers did spot repairs, repaving just a patch of the road in the process. That has caused uneven and cracked pavement.

Ouattara says her neighborhood is taking a backseat to Habersham Park, where preliminary work is taking place.

Residents on Cleburne Street will have to wait 30 days for companies to bid on the project and for the city to select and contract with a low bidder.

"I think you should get the worst road fixed, which is ours," Ouattara said, maintaining that the problems have only worsened since she first addressed the commission.

But the storm drains in Habersham Park have been on the city's to-do list for years.

A hydrology study was completed six years ago to determine the source of the neighborhood's worsening flooding.

It was determined that water from Albermarle and Norwich streets drained into the neighborhood, causing yards in the low-lying area to flood dramatically after a rain.

"When we get a heavy rain, when we get one inch of rain, then almost all of the yards in almost all of Habersham Park gets flooded," city engineer McFee said.

The problem stems from the construction of the new Glynn Middle School that took away a large part of undeveloped land, said Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson, noting that the school's construction was approved and all proper protocols were followed.

"It started to flood and flood in ways that we had not seen before several years ago," Thompson said.

The neighborhood became susceptible to flooding after sewer lines serving as an informal drainage system were replaced during construction of the middle school.

Quick repairs weren't enough to fix the problems.

"There's some really nice people down there who have been really, really patient," McFee said.

Still, Ouattara feels her road is low priority.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at nwiley@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.