UPDATE: Second Street construction resumes | News
Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore tells 13WMAZ that work is back underway on the Second Street Corridor project. He says a safety wall was put in place Friday morning and crews are back at work.
Portions of the construction was halted Thursday amid concerns that heavy construction equipment could have damaged buildings.
Construction started on the Second Street Corridor Project last month, and required a block of the street to be closed.
The block, on Second, Poplar and Cherry streets, is planned to be shut down for around three months during construction. The million-dollar project is aimed at expanding the city's "walkable" areas.
Betty Schiermeister and Nick Rizkalla work in businesses within this block. And as of Wednesday, they tell us they now have cracks in their buildings due to the construction.
Schiermeister is one of the partners at L.A. Real Estate Development and says, "We felt movement in the ground similar to an Earthquake." She described the piece of equipment that seemed to be making all of the vibrations as a giant jackhammer.
She says as this kept going on they noticed a few cracks in the upstairs of their building. And while she is excited for the outcome of the project, she is nervous about the next few months, mainly the safety of the buildings on the block.
Rizkalla told us he felt vibrations all day Wednesday at his shop, Roasted Cafe, but after he informed the construction company about the cracks construction came to a stop.
Macon Bibb Spokesman Chris Floore told us, "Georgia Power is bringing in a seismologist and they aren't working in that specific area, they are waiting on that," he continues by saying, "through this whole process, we want to be responsive to businesses' concerns, knowing the affect an improvement project of this magnitude will have during construction."
He explains the work saying it included putting in retaining walls over where the new man-holes will be on the block. Saying they are required by law for construction workers to work safely. The machine brought in to do that shakes the metal walls into place, protecting the workers from above.
Floore says the possible cracks are not the first concern they've looked into. One business experienced a broken window from the construction, and Floore says it was fixed the next day.
He says, "This project is going to greatly improve that block and I am appreciative of everyone's patience the next few weeks and for the public to take time to frequent these businesses throughout that time."
Floore adds by saying the construction workers were reinforcing the walls of the areas that were reopened for the project which is an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirement.
Floore tells us that the seismologist from Atlanta who tested to see if the machine caused the damage, ruled that it could not have. Saying the seismologist told him that the typical operation of trucks driving by would measure at .015 to .02 inches per second of particle velocity. He says they ran the machine today at two different locations, at Fashion 365 and at Roasted, it measured .058 at Fashion 365, and .023 at Roasted. The seismologist says the standard for historical structures with plaster walls to see stress cracks would be at .1 to .2 and minor structural damage would be at .4 to .6.