King George News

Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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Dramatic before- and after-photos of damage done to access road

Tropical Storm Lee created a massive ravine across the road to the Purkins Corner Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Here's the new road, with two 48-inch culverts.

Here are a couple photos that tell quite the story about damage from Tropical Storm Lee in September. The sudden deluge completely washed out the access road to the Purkins Corner Wastewater Treatment Plant. Within hours, it created a ravine that was 12- to 15-feet deep, said Chris Thomas, general manager of the King George County Service Authority.

He recently showed the Board of Supervisors photos of the rain-damaged road, as well as repairs made. Workers installed two 48-inch culverts instead of one 30-inch pipe, which is what had been under the road. They also spread about 5,000 yards of fill material and put a new gravel surface on the road. Cost was estimated at $25,000.

In looking back at aerial photos, Thomas discovered that culverts had been added, one on top of the other, to the access road as one culvert collapsed or got filled. Waste Management had been using the road, Thomas said.

With the repair, the water should drain more freely and not back up as it did during the storm, said Supervisor Chairman Joe Grzeika. Thomas added that the culverts are sloped so that workers can access either side of the pipes if they need to clean them.

Service Authority workers made the most of materials available to them. They used dirt found on site and scrounged the area for the rocks to create the rip rap arrangement on the slopes, Thomas said.

James Mullen, who runs an excavating business, was impressed. “Looks good, good job,” he said.