Travelers around the Cottonwood area, including McLane Company truck drivers, likely rejoiced when the Houston County Road and Bridge Department opened all sections of State Line Road Tuesday.
A major thoroughfare that connects Cottonwood with U.S. Highway 231 and serves the Houston County Distribution Park, State Line Road had been closed near the intersection with D Hodge Road since September 2018. The county began replacing a cross-drain in the area a few weeks before Hurricane Michael struck the Wiregrass, and the storm destroyed all of the preliminary work, said chief county engineer Barkley Kirkland.
The Category 5 hurricane also created an immense amount of debris, diverting manhours and equipment to debris cleanup projects that didn’t end until mid-spring, Kirkland said. Coupled with other factors like normally wet winters, the cross-drain project did not begin until May.
While most of State Line Road remained opened, it caused some detours for those living near Cottonwood and for some McLane Company drivers with assignments in Georgia, Kirkland said. Once the project began, though, Houston County Road and Bridge personnel moved quickly to tackle a large project.
“It took a great deal of work,” said Houston County District 2 Commissioner Doug Sinquefield said. “We had flooring with concrete and rebar. There was a lot of shoulder work, and we created a holding area for some of the water.”
Sinquefield said the project improves the roadway in various ways, including the reduction of potential flooding issues from future heavy rains.
“People happen to live in a low area,” he said. “I’ve heard people on D Hodge had water come over the road. Hopefully this will eliminate that. It’s much improved and safer.”
Sinquefield expressed gratitude to the Houston County Road and Bridge Department for its work on the initiative.
“We’re just thankful for the Road and Bridge Department,” he said. “They worked through the heat and the rain. We’re just grateful that we’re through with that project.”
Sinquefield also praised his constituents for their patience with the road closure.