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Fire station built on sinkhole must be replaced

ALBANY, Ga. -- Move over Florida; you're not the only one with sinkhole issues.

The Albany City Commission tentatively approved almost $900,000 in funding Tuesday to build a replacement Fire Station 3 on Honeysuckle Drive. A new station is needed, according to Fire Chief James Carswell, because the current Station 3 at 501 Holley Drive was built on a sinkhole and has been gradually collapsing since it was completed in the mid-1980s.

photo

Joe Bellacomo

"The station has sunk so far, windows have fallen out and walls are separating from the roof," Carswell said. "We've had to put plywood over windows, but our folks are still working out of that station."

Carswell said the current Station 3 was built on land that was donated, and engineers discovered the sinkhole during early sitework. Workers poured concrete in the "throat" of the sinkhole in an effort to shore it up, the fire chief added.

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard noted that the low bid for the new station came in $144,000 more than was budgeted and some $300,000 more than the cost to build the same building in 2005. Staff indicated that five of nine potential bidders had been eliminated for consideration on the project because of failure to prequalify as bidders by a specified date, leaving the city eventually with only two qualified bids. Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff asked if a rebid might be in order.

Albany architect Mack Wakeford, who is heading the project, advised the board to approve the $894,000 bid by Bainbridge's PDC Construction.

"I don't think you'll bring the project back to $750,000 with a rebid," Wakeford said. "It is my professional opinion that you should lock this price down. With the way construction costs are going all over the place now, it might end up costing more."

Central Services Director Stephen Collier told the board three separate bids on the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport's new terminal project, required because of stringent federal guidelines, had come in higher with each subsequent bid.

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, get out folks out of there. Rent a trailer until you get a new building erected. Forget someone's professional opinion whether it will sink or not. Who the heck knows. With the rain recharging the Floridan Aquifer the water levels have fluctuated and will cause dissolution of carbonate rock walls and columns. The fellow in Florida was swallowed along with part of the house. Get out folks as far away as practicable to safety.

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VietVet1 1 year, 7 months ago

"Workers poured concrete in the "throat" of the sinkhole in an effort to shore it up,"

And they thought that was going to work? Makes one wonder about decision makers.

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Jax 1 year, 6 months ago

Didn't y'all read the Squawk Box yesterday? The sinkholes are caused by overpopulation, over development, and illegal immigration. The answer is clearly political, Fryar, not scientific.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, jax, go on believing that. Many old Albanians remember the lime sink on Third and the day it sunk. Would not hold water for a pond either. But lime sinks are a fact of life in this area, but many have been overplayed. In fact there was a big lime sink in the 1970's on Oglethorpe and Monroe and I almost drove my car into it. They are all over. Let's reroute Oglethorpe.

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Jax 1 year, 6 months ago

Are you telling me they don't fact check the Squawk Box?!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

The City Engineer told the big wigs not to put the lakes there and also a couple of other places as well.

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bubbavet 1 year, 6 months ago

Tthey knew it before it was built, so it was ok as long as "they" didn't have to stay there. Excellent idea Barney.

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Albanite 1 year, 6 months ago

Building over a sink hole is just stupid. STUPID!

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

MUST HAVE BEEN SURVEYED BY JUNEBUG.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

I hate to tell all you intelligent people but Most of Albany sits atop subterrainean sinkhole activity. Remember all those that appeared during the flood of 1994 and before and after and those that will appear in the future. Just call your insurance agent and he will sell you sinkhole insurance. The earth and the effects of sinkholes are part of Mother Nature and she sometimes can be awnry.

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