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Assessment teams note road problems

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By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson PostAssessment teams were out Tuesday morning to check on damage to everything from residential and commercial structures to roads and bridges in Wilson County damaged as a result of the flooding on Saturday and Sunday.Most roads and bridges in Wilson County fared well, according to initial reports, but certainly a number of them were more affected than others.Among the trouble spots, said Wilson County Road Superintendent Steve Armistead, is Curd Road next to Mt. Juliet High School where it enters the Woodridge subdivision and where the school buses go to get to Mt. Juliet Middle School “is not travelable.”He said rushing water picked up the pavement along the roadway and threw against a fence. “It’s too dangerous to take a risk.”Cairo Bend Road North, off Coles Ferry Pike, is still closed, although it is possible to get through in an SUV, Armistead said.He noted that a portion of Coles Ferry Poke still had water on it Tuesday from Old Hickory Lake.The spillways at the Corps of Engineers dams at Old Hickory and Cordell Hull Lakes have been opened to relieve pressure on the dams, and that in turn sends additional water down the Cumberland River, which can affect the northern portion of the county.Armistead noted water from both Old Hickory and Cordell Hull essentially runs uphill and that is the case along the northern border of Wilson County.The southwestern end of the county, particularly Couchville Pike, had water backed up there, which is affected by J. Percy Priest Lake. Armistead said lake water was running over the top of the spillways at Priest.In addition, the industrial park off State Route 840 had some water in it, and Armistead said that area is on flat rock. “It doesn’t have anywhere to go.”Also, McCreary Road by the Nashville Superspeedway off Highway 452 has some damage from water that sheds off the property from nearby Hurricane Creek.Sherrilltown Road near the Norene Community and Watertown had some damage reported.Holmes Gap Road in Watertown had a big hole that opened in the middle of it, and Armistead said, “We’ll probably see some more of that.”    Some of the pavement at the bridge just past Friendship Christian School on Coles Ferry Pike, headed toward Highway 109, was pushed up and away by the force of the high and swift-moving water, and some of it remained in place although pushed up at the bridge creating a bump of sorts.Armistead said crews were out grinding on the roadway at the bridge Tuesday.Also damaged was pavement on a bridge on Eastover Road, off Sparta Pike at the I-40/Watertown exit.Armistead said Eastover Road can be traveled. Crews made preliminary repairs and will go back and put new pavement down there and at the bridge on Coles Ferry Pike.He noted that many of the approaches from the pavement to the bridges sustained damage from the high water, but they will be repaired as soon as crews can get to them.Many people reported their driveways were completely washed out. Armistead said the Road Commission office had 30 pages of people’s names who had called about high water problems.“I understand their frustration. My people are dog-tired, like the Sheriff’s Department and WEMA. It’ll probably take us a good month to month-and-a-half. We’re getting there.”    Lebanon Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines noted overall that city streets and bridges were fine with some washing away of gravel occurring.He said the shoulder of Hickory Ridge Road leading to Byars Dowdy Elementary off South Hartmann Drive will have to be repaired where the water from the creek overflowed and washed some of it out.John Jewell, director of Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, noted in a telephone interview with a Nashville TV station early Tuesday morning that about 20 secondary roads still had some traffic cones blocking them or a portion of them on Monday but that number was expected to decrease as water receded.Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at
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