Gwinnett road reopens after water main break caused massive hole

Indian Trail Road was reopened in Norcross on Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after a water main break caused a large section of the road to collapse.

Repairs to the road and a downed traffic signal were completed overnight, and traffic was back to normal by 5 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. The I-85 South ramp to Indian Trail Road was also reopened, the Traffic Center reported. 


Indian Trail Road had been shut down between Beaver Ruin Road and I-85 since about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, when Norcross police officers noticed water pouring across the road. Less than three hours later, part of the sidewalk and a right turn lane began to collapse near Brook Hollow Parkway, police chief Bill Grogan told

» PHOTOS: A few of metro Atlanta's biggest sinkholes

“It looks like it may be somewhere around 15 to 20 feet deep,” he said. “There's still water at the bottom of it so it may go further than that.”


As it grew, Grogan said it took out a traffic signal. The Gwinnett County Department of Transportation was called in to investigate possible undermining to the turn lane but found the I-85 exit ramp and a nearby park-and-ride lot were unaffected, county spokeswoman Varessa Butts said.

The hole measured 30 feet wide before it was filled.

The water main was shut off by 3 a.m. Crews with the county’s DOT and Department of Water Resources worked through the night Tuesday to fix the 16-inch decommissioned water main valve and address the collapse.

Three nearby businesses were without water Tuesday afternoon, but service was restored, Butts said. There were no other disruptions to service, she said, and water pressure and water quality were not affected.

A 12-foot concrete block that anchors the traffic pole and a system of heavy rain and thunderstorms complicated repairs Tuesday. Workers were not able to dig out the block because of its size, and Grogan said they had to wait for a crane to excavate it.


Temperatures didn’t escape the low 40s in metro Atlanta, Channel 2 reported. With the wind chill, it felt like the 30s. Despite the poor weather conditions, work continued.

“As long as it’s around 50 degrees or so during the day with the temperatures, even in the rain, they can actually pave,” Grogan said.

The shutdown caused headaches for Gwinnett County drivers Tuesday, creating heavy backups on I-85 South and cutting off access to the park-and-ride lot. The lot was reopened Wednesday, and bus routes 202, 110 and 20 were back to running on a normal schedule.

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