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Gaping hole: Local business owner worried surrounding broken pipe at Arnold's Pond

The city of Thomasville is working to repair broken pipe under Arnold's Pond
Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-07 18:45:16-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — "I don't think safety has a price," said Jennifer Bryant, owner of Seminole Wind.

For months, Bryant says exposed pipe has been an issue behind her restaurant.

"It is a big issue. It comes right up to the curb of the parking lot," said Bryant.

Bryant says it was roughly 6 months ago when she came to work and found the ground near Arnold's Pond had collapsed.

She says she's worried about people getting too close to the hole in the ground.

"Somebody could easily step out of their car and just backwards into it," said Bryant.

Bill Blackburn is the owner of the pond.
He says the broken pipes that runs underneath are the city's jurisdiction. That agreement was created several decades ago.

Despite being the owner of the area, Blackburn says the pipe needs to be repaired as soon as possible.

ABC 27 took Bryant's concerns to the city of Thomasville.

The city told ABC 27 they were already aware of the situation. They've been working on a plan to fix the collapsed 48 inches of rusted pipe.

"There was a planning process to figure out the best way to repair it," said Mark Harmon, Executive Director of Engineering, and Inspections.

Harmon says the pipe that collapsed is from the 1980s.

It's about 500 feet long.

That's nearly the length of two football fields.

"Obviously, you can dig up from one end to the other that's not always the best method," said Harmon.

He says the plan is to save the viable parts of the pipe and replace what's broken with newer pipe.

As it stands now, more than 100 feet will be replaced. The city says this will cost over 200,000 dollars.

Once given the green light, the city predicts construction should take no longer than 60 days.

"We do ask that the public stay cautious. Those barricades and cones are there for a reason," said Harmon.

Keeping everyone safe.
A message Bryant echoes to her customers and everyone else.

"That's what I'm mostly concerned about. Safety for our customers, our employees, the kids, the animals," said Bryant.

Harmon says the city should receive notice to proceed within the next 30 days.