File Photo: This large sinkhole is the result of a failing stormwater infrastructure attached to a dam off High Point Forest Drive.
COVINGTON - A portion of High Point Forest Drive will be closed for up to three weeks while the county makes repairs to a dam that is in danger of failing.
There will be no access to High Point Forest via Channing Cope Road, but because the road is a residential street, the closing at that intersection should not have a major impact, said County Engineer Tom Garrett. Residents living along that street will be able to access their homes via Ga. Highway 36. Repairs to the dam will cost about $80,000 and will be funded through the county's capital fund for road projects, according to Garrett. Repairs began Monday.
Last year, commissioners approved the repair project after Chairman Kathy Morgan told them if the dam fails it could wash out the road.
"Failure is not a possibility that we will consider," she said.
The associated pond, known as Arthur's Pond, was built around 1990 for recreational purposes. The county at some point made repairs to failing stormwater infrastructure, but County Attorney Tommy Craig told the board last year those repairs were not designed or installed up to professional standards.
Even though the dam is on private property, the county has an obligation to protect a public road, according to Craig. If the county had not made the original repairs, the property owner could be held liable, he said, but, "We set our course many years ago and we need to maintain our course."
A portion of the concrete spillway has failed on the downstream slope of the dam and some of the concrete has fallen into an eroded crevice. A large collection box has corroded and allowed soil to migrate into a stream below. Due to the failure of the spillway and collection box, a downstream corrugated metal pipe and receiving stream are filled with about a foot of silt.
The solution is to raise the dam 18 inches and lower the pool by that amount, demolishing the spillway, collection box and a 30-inch pipe and installing an inlet box, a 48-inch discharge and pipe plunge pool.