WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. — Some folks living on Panther Branch Road have had a 'sinking' feeling for the past year and a half with a big problem on their county road.
13WMAZ’s Jessica Cha went out there to show you what's been going on.
"It's a big-time safety issue. I'm Lisè Brantley, I live on Panther Branch Road and the sinkhole behind me is driving me crazy.”.
Brantley has lived here for eight years. She says troubles began last June as the county was working on pipes underneath the road connecting to a large wetland area.
"Maybe they moved a pipe or something, and after that, the left side started caving in,” she explains.
Washington County blockaded the road. However, the rain and people driving on the road despite the sinking road helped the hole grow.
Brantley says people ignore the road closed signs and use her driveway to turn around.
"We have had several bigger trucks come through here and knock the mailbox down-- I know, four times. It happens every day, if not all day.”.
She says the road closing affects everyone and folks must take at least a 25-minute detour. She says it's dangerous for others.
"I mean, come through, go through the sign, go airborne and either end up in the hole or the beaver dam. I mean, someone can get killed out here,” Brantley explains.
County Commissioner Frank Simmons, whose district includes Panther Branch Road, says they're working on a solution.
“It was such a big job to be done, it needed to be done by engineers,” he says. “Then we bid it out to the contractors and they come in and look and see what they've got to do, what it'll cost them to do it, and then we'll approve it,” he explains.
Simmons says no contractors bid on the contract in August, but they're trying again. Now, they have a $1.2 million plan with 120 days to complete road work and replace pipes on Panther Branch Road. Starting with the hole.
Commissioner Simmons and County Administrator Dustin Peebles says at their next commission meeting, on October 13, they will approve the bid plan and work with a contractor can begin.
They say they're unsure exactly when road work will start.