HEPHZIBAH, Ga. – Barricades are up and part of Patterson Bridge Road is blocked off from storm damage that took place over the weekend. Resident, Stephanie Richardson says she’s outraged and seeking council to take legal action. “You can’t just keep putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole and saying it’s fixed. Eventually those Band-Aids are not going to work anymore and that’s what’s happened.”
Stephanie Richardson is talking about a hole that’s taken up half of the Patterson Bridge Road entrance to her neighborhood. She says 500 – 700 people who live back here are being required to come and go through a chalk mine while the bridge it’s being repaired. “A road that was made for dump trucks to go and get chalk from the chalk mine. It’s not for your everyday vehicle. I drive a Camry. My Camry is going to be torn to shreds by the time this is done.”
Richardson says the road has been in an almost impassable condition for years with little patchwork here and there. Another concern is getting emergency vehicles to anyone who would need them while the road undergoes construction. “Heaven forbid, we’re running into summer time. There are people out there with pools. What if a kid drowns or is bitten by a snake? “
She says the city needs to be held accountable for negligence. “What the city is not taking into account is that they’ve had two-and-a-half years when the bridge was really deteriorating… before that… even to fix this.”
Richardson says had this problem taken place closer to Masters Week traffic, maybe she and her neighbors wouldn’t be in this situation. “We pay taxes too. We’re hard working people. Now our commute… you’re adding 20 minutes to and from where we’re going because of the detour. You know, obviously you don’t care about how hard we work to pay for our vehicles because they’re going to be tore up. Obviously, you don’t care about our health or well-being because Emergency personnel cannot access us in a timely manner. You’re putting our lives in danger.”
City officials say it could take months until this is completely repaired.