Road closure causes headaches, questions in Jonesville

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

October 18, 2013

JONESVILLE — A road closing in Jonesville has many residents wondering when, or if, they will ever again drive on the street. And a public hearing Monday will give them a chance to voice their opinions on what to do about the situation.

Mineral Springs Drive was closed following town personnel being notified of visible deterioration in the road’s retaining wall.

North Mineral Springs Drive and Pinnix Street were affected by the closing.

Mineral Springs Drive starts across from the Jonesville Historical Center and climbs up roughly 700 feet to where it levels out and leads toward Swan Creek Road near Jonesville Elementary School.

A rock wall was constructed roughly 380 feet from the intersection of U.S. 21 Business and Mineral Springs Drive. The wall is made of stacked stones and was intended to retain the roadway fill on the north side of the street.

The town contacted engineering firm McGill Associates and had them review the street conditions and provide the town with preliminary findings.

When the firm inspected the road, it sent the town a letter assessing the situation.

“During our site visit, there were areas observed where the rock wall has failed,” David E. Richmond of McGill Associates wrote. “The noticeable failures have occurred 30 feet from the start of the wall, where an area of the wall has fallen away exposing the fill material.”

Richmond continued, “Similarly, stones have fallen away from a 12-inch diameter storm drain line under the roadway that exits through the wall.”

In the firm’s assessment, it felt the best course of action was to keep the road closed until further investigations can be done.

“Based on our initial observations, there is enough visual evidence of deterioration and condition issues to warrant closing the roadway until geotechnical investigations of the fill material and a repair/replacement plan for the wall can be developed and implemented,” Richmond wrote.

Town Manager Scott Buffkin has sent letters to area residents trying to explain the reasoning for closure.

He invited residents, particularly those of Mineral Springs Drive, to attend a public hearing Monday at 7 p.m. at town hall.

“The Town Council would like to know the feelings of the residents of this area of town prior to deciding on our course of action,” Buffkin said. “With this in mind, the Town Council will hold a public hearing at its monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. As this meeting is open to the public, all concerned parties will be allowed to speak.”

Those unable to attend may bring written comments to town hall.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.