In Columbia County's ongoing quest to keep up with stormwater issues (see editorial above), one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle has been the too-small drains underneath Stevens Creek Road at Reed Creek.
Heavy rains frequently back up in the diversion canal that feeds the creek into the Augusta Canal. That backs the water up to the narrow Stevens Creek Road drains, and soon the road is flooded.
Thankfully, that will soon end -- but it won't be convenient for motorists in the meantime.
Starting today, the Georgia Department of Transportation will shut down Stevens Creek Road. For the next five months, workers will rip out the bridge over Reed Creek at Bowen Pond, put in bigger drains and raise the roadbed above the floodplain -- about 7 feet.
Not only will the work keep the road from being overrun after future downpours, but it also will relieve areas upstream that sometimes flood as a result of the downstream bottleneck.
DOT officials acknowledge that the timing isn't too good; many motorists have grown accustomed to using Stevens Creek to avoid all the construction on Furys Ferry Road.
"Some area residents will probably go back to Furys Ferry Road," says the DOT's area construction engineer, Rusty Merritt. "We want to warn people of the upcoming county closure so that they will not be caught off guard when Stevens Creek Road closes."
Still, there will never be a perfect time for such a big -- and long-awaited -- project. Better to get the inconvenience over with, and enjoy the improvement when it's done.
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