By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville City Council in a special-called session Friday afternoon approved a resolution declaring a public safety emergency for the repair of storm-related damages to the drainage structure located at Chalkville Mountain Road and Service Road.
The work being done in front of the Chevron on Chalkville Mountain Road is the result of a drainage pipe collapse.
Mayor Gene Melton said it was discovered last Friday and is a result of a corrugated metal pipeabout 38 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.
Melton said at Friday’s meeting that Jefferson County will not be assisting in the repair. Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight said he “did everything I could to explore it” and research the issue to bring to county officials. Melton had spoken with Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos prior to the special-called session. Melton said the city didn’t have time to “sit and fight” over who should be responsible for the work — either the city or the county.
The city council seeks to solicit competitive bids at an expedited process for repairs to the site, the cost of which exceeds $50,000, according to the resolution.
According to the resolution, heavy rain events that put excessive strain on older drainage structures located partially on Jefferson County right-of-way at Chalkville Mountain Road and Service Road in Trussville caused a wall failure and collapse of a corrugated metal pipe, resulting in a sinkhole adjacent to these roadways.
The sinkhole is currently more than 15 feet deep and 15 feet wide, the resolution states. More than 55,000 cars travel Chalkville Mountain Road per day.
The resolution states that the flow through this pipe is now compromised and that the stormwater drainage system upstream does not function as designed, resulting in dangerous flooding conditions along Chalkville Mountain Road. If it were not repaired, “That’s going to look like Old Faithful,” Melton said of the area in front of Chevron.
The Trussville City Council will open bids for the repair of the area Monday at 3 p.m. at Trussville City Hall. A special-called meeting to potentially approve a bid will follow at 4:30 p.m.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.