Road open again after Sept. flood

LAWRENCEVILLE -- McDonough Drive reopened this weekend, six months after Gwinnett's devastating floods damaged it.

The road, near Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard, required a complicated repair job, officials said, after corrugated metal drain pipes collapsed.

The rusted 60-inch metal drain pipes were replaced with reinforced concrete pipes before the road was rebuilt, but the work was difficult because of a nearby 16-inch sewer force main and a four-inch high pressure natural gas line, said Acting Water Resources Director Lynn Smarr.

About a third of the $900,000 in repair costs should be covered by federal and state emergency funds, Smarr said.

The county is expected to get about $4.7 million in disaster aid, while about $7.7 million in damages is estimated for the county's road drainage structures.

"These old metal drainage pipes are common, especially in west Gwinnett," Chairman Charles Bannister said. "When they fail under roads, we have no choice but to make repairs immediately and bring them up to current standards. That's an important role that our stormwater utility plays."