High-voltage line stops work on busy President St. in Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

High-voltage line stops work on busy Savannah street

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A big traffic headache going in and out of downtown Savannah will go on at least two weeks longer than expected.

Contractors installing a $1.7 million sewer line for the city of Savannah have run into a snag -- a 46,000-volt power line running through the intersection of President and Randolph streets.

"This connects our substation on River Street which feeds all of downtown Savannah, connects to Savannah's sewage treatment plant on President Street, and it connects to another substation further down President Street," Georgia Power External Affairs Manager Matt Gignilliat said.

Gignilliat called the line, "a very critical piece of infrastructure."

The pipe is at least 50 years old, but it still came as a surprise to city workers and contractors when they tore up the road last week to put in a new sewer line.

In the 280 years since Gen. James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, a lot has been buried. That's why city workers used ground-penetrating radar to try and figure out what was under the street before they started digging. They were off by a few feet on Georgia Power's line.

"And we've asked them if they would, and they agreed to move where they are going to dig slightly so that this cable doesn't get endangered," Gignilliat said.

That will add to the cost of the city's project. Right now, the contractor is working up an estimate of how much. But work can't re-start until City Council approves the changes. The Council doesn't meet again for another two weeks.

That's frustrating for George Sikes, whose Sikes Collision Center is surrounded by road work.

He's afraid he'll lose customers, "cause I have no drive-by visibility with the roads being blocked off all around me so I'm concerned with the lack of business and how long it's going to take."

The road was expected to re-open Sept. 27. Now that date is more like mid-October.

The new sewer line is part of a larger project to elevate President Street at General McIntosh Boulevard to alleviate flooding in the area. 

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