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BOC mulls platforms for pipe

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County could pay nearly $2 million to protect a major sewage transmission pipe from the Ga. Highway 316 at Interstate 85 interchange construction.

An agreement for the Gwinnett Department of Public Utilities to pay contractors $1.89 million to build platforms to hold up to 12,000 tons of dirt is on the agenda for the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

According to Public Utilities Director Frank Stephens, the pipe, which runs perpendicular to the interstate, is in a location where crews plan to store up "fill," or dirt that will be used in the construction, up to 40 feet tall.

The platform "takes the tremendous load of the fill and disperses it so it doesn't hurt the pipe," Stephens said, adding that platforms would likely be built on both sides of the interstate. One platform would hold 7,000 tons and the other 5,000 tons.

The agreement under consideration would give the money to the Georgia Department of Transportation, which is charge of the $150 million interchange project.

The DOT's contract with builders would then be altered so that the same company would do the platforms as is building the road. Stephens said that would allow the platform to be built under the road project's schedule.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners are expected to award a $5 million contract to move gravity water and sewer lines running parallel to the interstate that are being displaced by the construction.

Stephens said building the platforms instead of relocating this larger pipe would save the county money.

"It's an innovative design, and it's cheaper," Stephens said. "It's a great example of intergovernmental cooperation and it helps the project stay on schedule."