Jonesboro storm drain to get overhaul

Leaders in the City of Jonesboro have announced that they are moving to do a little old-fashioned ditch-digging, of sorts, to clean up an overgrown storm drain on the eastern side of the city, that has a reputation for clogging up, and overflowing.

Mayor Luther Maddox said he is expecting construction work to begin later this spring to clear out a one-quarter-mile-long storm drainage ditch, located between Irwin Street, and Stockbridge Road. He said the ditch has become filled with overgrown brush and tree limbs, which makes it difficult to hold all of the water that comes during rain storms.

"It comes out to the road, and goes over the road in [at least] one place, that I know of, in heavy rains," Maddox said.

The city is scheduled this week to begin the process of seeking bids to complete the project, and is beginning to place legal advertisements for the bid process. Tommy Newsome, the city's consulting engineer for the project, said bids will be due on March 10. The project is being paid for with a $320,000 Community Development Block Grant the city received last year, he said.

The bid advertisement states that the company chosen to work on the ditch, must be capable of beginning work within 10 calendar days of receiving a "Notice to Proceed" from the city. Also, the work must be completed within 180 calendar days of the "Notice to Proceed" date.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to finish it the end of September, or October," Newsome said.

Maddox said the work will include clearing out all of the brush, tree limbs and other debris that have accumulated in the ditch over the years. He added that it will also include laying down a piece of black cloth lining, which will then be covered with stones.

The bid advertisement explains, more precisely, that the work will include: "2,050 linear feet of drainage ditch improvements, and 1,015 linear feet of 15-inch, thru 42-inch reinforced concrete storm drain piping installation, including drain inlets, yard drains, catch basins, erosion & sediment control, and grassing throughout the project area."

In recent years, heavy rains have periodically plagued the metropolitan Atlanta area, but Maddox said that while the drainage ditch near Irwin Street, in Jonesboro, has flooded, it has not been enough to threaten nearhomes — yet.

The mayor said city leaders are hoping the work to be done on the ditch will be enough to prevent those homes from being affected future flooding.

The mayor said heavy flooding in the Atlanta area in September 2009 gave Jonesboro city leaders a moment of pause to think about whether "monsoon-type weather" was something the city could handle. "It made us look at our infrastructure, and what we had in place," he said.

A copy of the project's plans and specifications, is available for review at Jonesboro City Hall, which is located at 124 North Ave.