By Gary Lloyd
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said Thursday morning that the work being done in front of the Chevron on Chalkville Mountain Road is the result of a drainage pipe collapse.
Melton said it was discovered Friday and is a result of a corrugated metal pipe about 32 feet below the surface. Melton said he believes the pipe was originally installed improperly and that over time, a void developed above the pipe as big storms came through the area. After the void reached a certain height, Melton said, the ground fell in, which caved in the pipe. Melton said this is the theory on what has happened. As a result, the pipe is stopped up, which has affected water flow.
The Trussville City Council on Tuesday approved Melton entering into an agreement with Jefferson County to help fix the problem, since the area is on a county road. Melton should know today whether the county will be able to help or not. Should the county not provide assistance, Trussville will have to move forward with “urgency” because it is a dangerous situation, Melton said.
“I can’t leave it there because it’s in our city,” he said.
A crew from Milam and Company were at the site Wednesday, digging down to the pipe to try and patch the pipe to allow time to see if the county would be involved, Melton said. The pipe was not patched Wednesday because the pipe is so deep that digging further would make the sides of the hole fall in more, Melton said.
Wednesday’s work cost between $3,000 and $4,000, Melton said. Installing a new culvert “can be very expensive,” Melton said, noting that he does not yet know if that will be the case.
“That’s the dangerous part of it,” he said. “It’s going to continue to grow if someone doesn’t address it.”
If the county decides to participate, the city will provide the necessary materials for the fix, Melton said.
All the water that drains from the Walmart area comes through this drainage pipe. Because it’s at the bottom of the hill and it’s stopped up, the problem is it will continue to “boil up” and make the hole bigger, possibly affecting the Chevron station and Express Oil Change next door, Melton said.
Melton said there is “urgency” because of rain expected today, which will flow through that pipe. He hopes to hear from the county today. He said he came up with a plan with Milam and Company for a new pipe to be installed closer to the surface, should the county not participate.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.