SR 51 Sinkhole Repairs Underway in Hart Co.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said this week that repairs on a failed pipe and sinkhole on State Route 51 in Hart County is moving forward.

DOT officials said that the contractor has begun repair work and is working on fabricating a replacement pipe.

The sinkhole opened on State Route 51, about 6 miles north of Hartwell on the morning of May 6.

According to the DOT, the earth supporting the roadway was undermined from a pipe failure approximately 40 feet under State Route 51.

Once the DOT arrived on scene, engineers found a cavity 10 feet square at the top and 20 feet deep taking up almost the entire northbound lane.

Lake Hartwell is on both sides of the roadway.

The DOT said that complicates repairs as the project includes creating a dry work area displacing Lake Hartwell water giving the crew a place to work.

Then, the damaged pipe must be excavated and a new custom coated steel pipe will be fabricated and installed.

The DOT said crews will then build up the dirt on top of the pipe to the grade of State Route 51, pave the damaged roadway and stripe it.

Georgia DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith said that if the weather cooperates, the repairs should be complete by August 23.
In the meantime, a detour is in place.

Motorists headed north on State Route 51 turn left onto Boat Road, then right on Parham Road, and that leads back to State Route 51.

The route is reversed for southbound traffic.