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Briarlake sewer improvement project kicks off on May 29, will last four months

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Briarlake sewer improvement project kicks off on May 29, will last four months

DeKalb County will be replacing about 1,230 linear feet of ductile iron pipe on Briarlake Road beginning on May 29. Photo is a screenshot of a community meeting held on May 18, 2023.

DeKalb County, GA — Construction of the Briarlake sewer improvement project is scheduled to begin on May 29.

Briarlake Road will be closed between Briarcliff Road and Briarlake Trace Northeast for about four months while crews work to upgrade the sewer line and several manhole structures, according to a press release.

In this project, the county will replace about 1,230 linear feet of 10-inch ductile iron pipe, and upsizing to 16-inch ductile iron pipe. Existing manholes will be replaced as well, and some lines will be taken off-line and filled with grout. The cost of this project is about $2.1 million.

“We want to reduce or eliminate emergency repairs, we want to stop spills, we want to protect the environment, and finally, after the project is completed, we want to improve sustainability to the system,” said Cassandra Marshall, assistant director of DeKalb Watershed Management, during a virtual meeting with the neighborhood on May 18. “These improvements should last a minimum of 70 plus years.”

Since 2017, there have been eight sanitary sewer overflows in the area. There were six in the Grand Prix area and two in the Briarlake area. The most recent overflow occurred in October 2020, said Kerry Williams, engineer and manager for DeKalb Watershed.

Some of the pipes in the area are over 70 years old and lack volume. Some pipes are also going downhill but trying to flow the other way, and some pipes are cracked as well.

“This area also has projects that are on our priority fix list,” Williams said. “The Grand Prix Drive is on the priority fix list and under our consent decree that we are under, it must be repaired.”

The work will require a full road closure between Briarcliff Road and Briarlake Trace Northeast. The manhole located on Briarcliff Road near the intersection with Briarlake Road will require a one-lane closure between Circlewood Road and Echo Drive.

Construction hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays. Residents and drivers in the area can expect an increase in construction-related noise and traffic during work hours.

Briarlake Road will be closed from May 31 to Aug. 5. Briarlake Road will remain closed throughout the duration of the construction work. The sidewalk will also be closed.

“We have to allow that road to be closed because…we’re going to be doing bypass pumping,” said David Hayes, director of watershed management. “That means that we have to interrupt the sewer flow in a section of that sewer pipe. The only way we can continue to allow you to utilize your sewer is to isolate that section, but put in a pumping system that intercepts that flow from one point and pump it over to another point that will allow that section to stay dry and bypassed.”

The pumping system cannot be put in and taken out every day, and it will run continuously throughout the construction period.

From June 12 to June 30, there will be intermittent lane closures on Briarcliff Road. The roads will be restored from July 14 to Aug. 4. From Aug. 5 to Dec. 31, the pipe installation work in the easement will begin. The project is anticipated to be completed by Jan. 31, 2024.

Crew workers will park alongside streets in the neighborhood and sometimes along the work zone. In terms of noise, residents may hear backup alarms from the equipment. The alarms have to be loud enough for the people in the work zone to hear.

“As one measure of noise reduction, we will not have the equipment run in idle,” Marshall said. “The sewage bypass pumps will also generate noise.”

Residents will temporarily be detoured around Briarlake Road. The construction plan, however, does allow homeowners to move around the neighborhood, but traffic from Briarcliff and Lavista Roads will not be allowed to access through Briarlake Road, Marshall said.

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