Growing concerns on hazard spot along I-75
The newly renovated interstate system in south Bibb County has become a nightmare for drivers near the Hartley Bridge Road exit.
Within the last six weeks, Captain Charlie Gunnels of the Bibb County Sheriff's Department says he can recall at least five accidents at that location and is looking to get something done before its too late.
"You can see from all the debris that we have had a lot of accidents out here," said Gunnels, as he walked along the median of Interstate 75.
Gunnels calls it the biggest problem on the Interstate system in Bibb County.
"During inclement weather, when we get a really, really heavy downpour, the roads flood," said Gunnels.
As for the drainage system.
"All the debris that has washed up into the drain has pretty much got it stopped up," said Gunnels.
Rendering it helpless against the volume of water and aids in the formation of a small lake two lanes into the interstate. It takes at least an hour to drain once the rain stops, which becomes a problem for drivers.
"They can't avoid the puddle and they hit it, then here we go we have a mess," said Gunnels.
A mess evident by damage taken in by the retention wall, which shows where cars have loss control and collided with the barrier.
"People don't use the proper following distance and then they don't slow down in the rain," said Gunnels. "They hit this big puddle of water then we get this ping pong effect."
Gunnels says most victims are not local drivers who know what to expect when coming over the hill ahead of exit 155 on a rainy day.
"When it rains they move over, but it's our out of town drivers that don't know about the puddly water," said Gunnels. "When they hit it, they're going to hit this wall then they are going to bounce off and strike another vehicle."
Gunnels has been in contact with the Georgia Department of Transportation, he says they have been responsive to his concerns and hopes to fix the issue soon.
"It's a problem that I think can be easily alleviated and we'll work it out with the Georgia Department of Transportation."
During a heavy rain event, a patrol car is placed about a half mile ahead of the the exit with its lights flashing to get drivers to slow down. So far, there has not been any recorded fatalities in that area.