Jones Mountain Road a “major disaster”

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JASPER, Ga. – “A pretty good hit for a small county like Pickens,” that is how Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones referred to the Jones Mountain Road incident that lost an entire lane and part of the bank as well as ripping out a water line.

The incident occurred on February 22, 2019, after the massive rains the area had suffered in recent weeks. Chairman Jones had confirmed the road closure that is still in effect today. Original plans were that the road was to be reopened in the following week. However, the damage is larger than originally thought.

Jones confirmed with FYN today that rough estimates indicate the repair project could end up costing close to $1.8 million in total. There is a proposal before the BOC for repairs using GSI (GeoStabilization International), a company commonly used to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Jones said the proposal, if approved, would make a priority to reopen the section as a single lane for traffic within seven days which could include some gravel over the back shoulder in an effort to alleviate the single lane squeeze. He wants the lane open as he asserted it will be at least a month before this proposal would have Jones Mountain Road fully repaired.

The $1.8 million project also represents a titanic hit to the county’s budget this year. To respond to this, Jones told FYN he is actively seeking aid from both State and Federal agencies as the county starts looking at a long-term recovery process that could easily drift into late spring.

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Jones Mountain Road shutdown

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(Photo courtesy of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department)

TALKING ROCK, Ga. – Avoid Jones Mountain Road near the Gilmer county line this weekend as major damage has come from this week’s storms.

Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones has confirmed with FYN that the road has washed out approximately two miles from the Pickens-Gilmer county line. Further, authorities are completely shutting down this area to all traffic except those living in the immediate vicinity.

Due to the massive amount of rainfall and runoff, Jones said that numerous trees have fallen. One incident arose around 11 a.m. today, February 22, when a water line was pulled out of the ground.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings in North Georgia about the excessive rain softening the ground and causing an increase in major damage and washouts in affected counties. This is one such incident as Jones reports county authorities are already on scene attempting to fix the problem.

However, this is not a simple task to be completed in one day as Jones suspects they will need to continue working today and likely tomorrow. Additionally, he did admit a chance that the damage could cause the road to remain shutdown over the entire weekend.

Jones confirmed nobody was injured during the incident and partial washout, but has closed the road to traffic to prevent further threat. Emergency authorities across North Georgia are greatly stressing the dangers of drivers traveling through submerged parts of roads. They continue to tell citizens NOT to attempt this as any number of hidden dangers or holes could be under the water.

Again, citizens are to avoid the Jones Mountain Road area two miles from the county line and should assume this to remain in effect for the weekend.

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