Infrastructure damage mostly fixed

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Much of Gwinnett's storm-damaged infrastructure has been repaired, officials said Tuesday.

Twenty of the 25 roads washed out by record flooding in September have been reopened to traffic and two more will be complete this week, a press release said.

Much of the work involved more than just repairs to roads, shoulders and utilities. Contractors and county staff members also had to replace large drainage pipes. Stormwater Director Steve Leo said the work, which is estimated at $6 million, is eligible for reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I am proud of the stormwater utility staff and all emergency crews for their hard work, prompt response and diligent service to Gwinnett residents," BOC Chairman Charles Bannister said.

On Tuesday, officials approved a $546,376.80 increase to the company working on the county's extension to Sugarloaf Parkway. Most of the increase, though, was because the company pitched in to repair Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, when its bridge over the Yellow River was damaged by the floods, Transportation Director Brian Allen said.

While the road repairs are nearly complete, officials said they would continue to replace corrugated galvanized metal pipes, which often fail a few decades after they are installed.

"We're actively working to replace many miles of rusty old drainage pipes with new concrete pipes but much of this work remains to be done and was not finished when the flood that experts have called an epic storm arrived," Water Resources Acting Director Lynn Smarr said.