METTER, GA (WTOC) - Repairs have lanes temporarily closed on I-16 in Candler County as crews pour concrete, and twice this month, drivers have landed their cars in it.
The sheriff says he knows the pictures have been all over the internet and that the problem may have seemed funny to some, but the cost - and especially the danger - do not have him laughing.
The concrete calamity on Tuesday was all too familiar. It marked the second time someone had driven through orange barrels and sunk into a fresh slab of cement.
“We had to close the interstate in order to clean out the mess,” said Sheriff John Miles. “Then, the contractors had to come back in and clean up the concrete strewn all over the interstate.”
Late last month, we showed you how crews were tearing up damaged parts of the interstate and replacing them with sections almost a foot deep. Days after the story, the first car drove through the barriers and the driver got stuck.
“The concrete gets all up in the suspension, in the wheels,” the sheriff said. “Those vehicles have to be towed from the scene.”
Two miles before the construction, signs warn what’s up ahead. The sheriff reminds people they have less than two minutes to move over, and that’s if they’re obeying the speed limit. The lane closure can catch drivers by surprise if they don’t plan ahead.
“We’re asking drivers to be extra patient, use extra caution,” Sheriff Miles said. “Use good judgement and be courteous. Let other drivers in or out of traffic lanes.”
Those delays cost time and money, and means the work and the inconvenience of closed lanes will last even longer, but that’s not the sheriff’s main concern.
“Luckily, this was just wet concrete that got damaged, and not somebody’s life,” he said.
He reminds driers that Candler County and Bulloch County have deputies at the work sites on the interstate with blue lights turned on to further alert you of what’s ahead.