Sink hole near intersection of Bessie Mays Circle and Bill Cross Street

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Recently it was brought to the attention of the Americus Times-Recorder that a sink-hole had opened up near the intersection of Bill Cross Street and Bessie Mays Circle. Multiple orange cones, collapsed asphalt, and a gaping hole confirmed the report. A few locals were questioned about the sink-hole, but declined comment.

City Manager Diadra Powell commented on the sink-hole. “There are two. One of them is off of Forrest and the other one is Bessie Mays Circle. We are looking at both of those as emergency repairs. The issue that we have right now is trying to locate a specific funding source that we’re going to actually utilize to make those repairs. But our intent is to make those repairs. We’ve
talked to the engineering firm and they have given us a quote, and it’s going to cost us probably about $1.2 million dollars to fix those two.”

She emphasized funding. “We have a plan, we just got to make sure that we have all of the funding in order to repair it the right way, so that we are not back over there in the next six months. It is all storm-water related. There is a drainage ditch that flows through there as well. The asphalt that you see that is broken, all of that has to be replaced and asphalt costs a lot of money.”

Interim Public Works Director David Wooden also commented, stated when he became aware of them. “They were brought to my attention at the end of January this year. But I just got to the public works department on November the 20. The end of January is when they were brought to my attention. I just got over there in November when Mr. Sistrunk when he took another job and so that’s when I became interim.” Wooden also stressed that there was a plan in place. “We’ve already met with the engineers though and we are putting a plan in place to get the repairs made.”

City Council Member Charles Christmas, whose district the sink-hole formed in, also commented. When asked how long the sink-hole had been there, he replied: “The last rain storm we had, we’ve had it washed out. It got worse. We had another one over there at one time, a long time ago, that got fixed. What happened is that that storm drain now has just washed off, and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. We had the same thing happen on Lee Street, it was not that big, it was a small one. It had gotten washed underneath, but you can’t see it, until it
caved in, and that’s what happened.”

He mentioned when he was first notified. “The first notification I got was actually Thursday last week. It was in that time frame, Wednesday-Thursday. I was traveling so I was getting texts and

When asked if the hole would have been visible before then, he replied: “It depends on when it caved it. I can’t answer that one.” When asked if he had been in contact with City workers in the area, he responded: “I have residents over there that I talk to periodically, but they didn’t even mention anything to me. In fact, I didn’t get any phone calls from them, it came from somewhere else.”

He talked about future prevention. “Obviously we are going to fix it right. It’s an emergency repair.”

Christmas addressed a timeline for repair. “As soon as the engineering is approved, about four weeks. Our job right now is to make sure we contain it.”