Heavy rains in February took out a slope on Diggs Gap Road, making it impassable. But thanks to the work done in-house by the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department, the road is set to open to traffic – and at a $675,000 savings.
Crews initially met with contractors and were told that a fix – using a combination of soil nails and micropiles to stabilize the slopes – could cost up to $750,000. The department, however, opted for a different solution: Build a rock buttress on the unstable slope to prevent further erosion.
The cost? Roughly $75,000.
“After considering several factors – relative safety, cost/benefit and time included – Engineering staff felt the rock buttress option was the best option for repair,” said EPW Director Jim Snowden. “The fact that the work could be done in-house and more quickly was definitely a deciding factor.”
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs agreed.
“I would like to thank our Engineering staff for this work,” said Jacobs. “They have done a great job in completing this project at a fraction of the cost and in less time than any of the other presented alternatives.”
Staff should have the road repaved later this week and Diggs Gap Road will fully re-open to traffic.
Abbey Harris is deputy director of communications for Knox County.