Jones Mountain Road Reopened


JASPER, Ga. – Pickens County Citizens are breathing an extra sigh of relief today as news is spreading that the major construction and repairs of Jones Mountain Road are officially complete.

Pictured is Jones Mountain Road shortly after the landslide, left, and after completion of repairs, right.

Citizens have been avoiding the road at first, and later dealing with only one open lane, since February 22, 2019, when a landslide took out a portion of the road and undermined the stability of the remainder. As county commissioners declared a local emergency in the situation, recovery began within that same week when inspectors came to assess the damage.

According to Pickens County Public Information Officer Tucker Green, the project has seen delays with one paving company backing out of the project, weather delays, and smaller issues popping up. The county has appreciated citizen’s patience with the project as Green said, “We sympathize for the inconvenience.”

According to an official release from the county, “GSI (contractors) and EXP Services Inc. (project engineers) completed the project and final inspections have been approved. This project which was caused by a natural disaster – landslide earlier in the year was declared a local emergency by the Board of Commissioners.”

Jones Mountain Road has officially reopened after inspections were completed on August 13, 2019.

Jones Mountain Road has officially reopened after inspections were completed on August 13, 2019.

It went on to add,”The work required was substantial and included: installation of a 380’ long Soil Nail Wall and a 20’ tall Geosynthetically Confined Soil Wall in the most severe portion of the landslide. Additionally, a guardrail and fencing were installed for safety precautions and both lanes of the road were resurfaced.

County Commission Chairman Rob Jones called the incident “A pretty good hit for a small county like Pickens,” back in March. But said this week, “With the amount of work and meeting state requirements along with the financial assistance from the Governor’s Office and the D.O.T., that area should be good for many years to come.”

Green also pointed to the assistance as a major boon to the project. The grant came in April with an expectation to quickly open one lane quickly and another two months to fully repair the road.

Green estimated that project to have a completed total just over $2 million, but exact expenses will come through financial reports with the county.


Cove Road Reopens to single lane traffic


JASPER, Ga. – The City of Jasper has officially reopened Cove Road after rock slides have had it closed for nearly a month.

However, with yesterday’s reopening of the road, there is a catch. Today will see only one lane of traffic available to citizens as clearing, repairs,  and stabilization of the area begins in earnest. Today, Georgia Power  will be replacing power lines on Cove road in the S curves, so please watch for these workers.

In the coming months, citizens will continue seeing the road open and close to lanes of traffic as the city continues with the plans it set into motion in last weeks monthly meeting. The city is calling for caution today as you travel the road, not just for the single lane of traffic, but for the workers and linemen who are continually moving along the road today.



Pickens Board of Commissioners Discuss Jones Mountain Road Repairs and Roundabout Lighting Assistance

Business, News

JASPER, Ga.- The Pickens County Board of Commissioners met on Thursday, March 21, 2019, to discuss repairs to Jones Mountain Road, Roundabout Lighting Assistance, and the Pickens “Ferst” Reader Proclamation.

Pickens Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert P. Jones

Due to inclement weather in the area, there was a landslide on Jones Mountain Road, resulting in damage to the road itself. A retired employee from the Department of Transportation served papers to the Commissioners (8:24) regarding information received from contractors, as well as comments towards said contractors. It was made clear that the county seeks to have a single contract that will cover everything, from drainage and runoff to erosion, using emergency funding from the state.

At this time, however, the board awaits a final projected amount required to properly fix the damages.

Chairman Robert P. Jones states that the board currently has the priority of salvaging the road until it can be fully repaired, so that at least one lane can be opened back up for travelers. It would take approximately 4.7 miles to go around the road for emergency services, and it will likely take 30-50 days to fix the road completely.

However, it is currently unknown as to which potential contractor could finish the project the fastest. Geostabilization International, a potential contractor being looked at by the board, does “in-place stabilization”, in which they would utilize soil nails to stabilize the road enough to use barricades and barrels to get at least one of the lanes open for traffic.

Both potential contractors should respond to the board’s questions by Tuesday, March 26, 2019, or Wednesday, March 27, 2019, of this coming week so that a decision can be made in a special meeting as to which contractor to go with, and how much the final bill will be. Jones states that overall price is important, but also goes on to say that getting one lane open and obtaining a five year warranty for the project are his biggest concerns.

Right to Left: Board members Jerry B. Barnes, Becky Denney, and Faye Harvey.

Starting at (26:14) in the video, Jones discusses the Roundabout Lighting Assistance for the 136 Connector at Blane’s Store and the White Talking Rock area of Old Highway 5. The Department of Transportation would like to place a roundabout at the White Talking Rock area of Old Highway 5, but would like the county to take care of the lighting.

The county isn’t actually expected to pay for the lights themselves, but rather the electricity and the maintenance. Solar electricity isn’t an option, but LED lights are being considered to save money on the electrical cost. The concern is that it would likely take more LED light fixtures, and some feel that the cost of the fixtures wouldn’t make the difference in price matter as much.

The Pickens “Ferst” Reader Proclamation (found at the beginning of the video) was also on the agenda during the meeting. This proclamation states that Wednesday, March 20, 2019, through Wednesday, March 27, 2019, is the FERST READERS WEEK throughout the county of Pickens, States of Georgia, and USA.

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Major Fire Dept issues rise in March City Council


JASPER, Ga. – Several issues have mounted up on the Jasper Fire Department in the last month.

The issues are also mounting into a major budget issue for the city as they seek repair Fire Engine #2 from engine troubles and deal with an unbudgeted Fire Interface Purchase. Both of the issues come amid a new vehicle purchase for the Fire Department as well.

While the Council did agree that the engine repairs could be covered as Chief Steve Roper suggested he had a few projects that he could put off until next year in order to pay for the major issue of the repair, including a driveway repair and a painting project.

As the Fire Engine requires an “in-frame repair” as Roper called it, the need could cost nearly $30,000 if the engine block needs to be fully rebuilt. However, Roper also said there is a chance the issue could be a smaller issue needing a gasket replacement costing $7,500.

The council approved up to $30,000 for the repairs to come from the line items of the other projects.

However, this was not the biggest issue the Fire Department saw as the next item on the agenda listed a 911 Interface Purchase.

Roper informed the council that the department has been in process of establishing a Computer Assisted Dispatch interface since 2018 and has seen stalls throughout last fall and winter. This system was picked up again this year with a total cost of $18,120.

The interface, according to Roper, will allow all information that 911 has taken into the system and dumps the information into Ipads for users to instantly access the information, history, and conditions among other things. This not only accumulates and accesses this information, but cuts down on radio traffic and aids in reporting for the city as well.

However, the $15,120 has been spent to proceed with this project, but was not budgeted in the 2019 budget. Jasper City Councilmember Anne Sneve clarified in the meeting that it was budgeted at one point but postponed. Having never returned to the budget, the City is now facing the $18,120 unbudgeted expense and seeking a way to cover the cost.

Roper said that he had a conversation with the City Manager, Jim Looney at the time, earlier this year about the project and its importance to the city overall. He said, “He gave me the go ahead to proceed with the project, and that’s where I am right now.”

While Jasper City Councilmember Tony Fountain noted that if the engine issue comes in to cost $7,500, they could could use the remaining funds to cover the $18,120 for the interface system, he also questioned what the city would do to respond if the engine took the entire $30,000.

Mayor John Weaver offered his opinion saying, “I think we need to give a stern reprimand that we did not know that we had approval for a $18,120 item before this council.”

Jim Looney was present at the meeting and took responsibility for the mistake as he said his understanding was that it was budgeted, but has now discovered it was not.

As the council moves forward, they are still seeking funds to cover the expense in case the engine repairs monopolized the excess funds from the canceled Fire Department projects.


Wooden Bridge Repairs


While Pickens favorite wooden bridge is still currently closed for repairs, the bridge is still open to pedestrians so feel free to take a stroll across it.

Access to The Woodbridge Inn restaurant is still available by taking a short detour through Chambers Street or Birch Street.

Pickens County government has made a statement that they are currently working towards repairs as they are currently accepting bid applications.




Separate sealed Bids for the construction of PROJECT NO. 2017-002 WOOD BRIDGE PROJECT will be received by the City of Jasper, 200 Burnt Mountain Road, Jasper GA 30143, until 1:00 pm local time on the 20th day of July 2017 at said place publicly opened and read aloud.

The work to be done consists of timber cap at Abutment 1 needs to be replaced, Beam 9 in span 3 has impact damage, Beam 8 in span 4 has full depth split, Pile 6 at Bent 5 to be replaced, Undermined footing of Pile 2 at Bent 3 due to erosion and Replace rotting timber curb where necessary.

The winning bidder will be required to do the following:

  1. Provide a performance bond equal to the amount of the bid.
  2. Provide the City a copy of certificate of insurance with the City as additional insured.
  3. After the award of the contract and before the start of work, you will be required to attend a pre-construction conference with representatives of the City. The conference will serve to acquaint the participants with the general plan for the repairs of the bridge and to discuss any special conditions that the City may have that may alter the original bid price.

No bids will be received or accepted after the above specified time for the opening of Bids. Bids submitted after the designated hour will be deemed invalid and returned unopened to the Bidder. The City of Jasper has the right to refuse any and all bids presented by all contractors.

Copies of bidding documents can be found here or at the City of Jasper office.

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