FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) – The chasm in Pecan Street may not be blocking anyone from getting out of their homes, but it does cause a major daily detour for many people in the surrounding Foley neighborhood.
“I guess if you don’t live here or utilize that street a lot, you don’t realize how inconvenient it is until now when we don’t have the use of that street,” Victoria Forney said.
Forney lives just around the corner from the hole that cuts off the most direct route to Highway 98. She said she has yet to see what’s being done to fix it.
“I don’t know what’s being done, but I just think whatever’s being done, it’s moving pretty slow,” Forney said.
And she’s not wrong. Foley officials said both the city and FEMA have prioritized cleanup efforts starting with debris removal and emergency measures. Also, road repair is not a speedy process.
“FEMA requires three bids on any project. They want three quotes to make sure that we’re getting our fair shake for our money,” Joe Bouzan, emergency management coordinator for the city, said.
Mayor John Koniar said one tentative plan is to add a fourth pipe that would run beneath the street to divert some of the water pressure from the other three.
“Because FEMA doesn’t want it to happen again, they call that ‘mitigation’ cause they don’t want to have to come back and repair it again so that’s their recommendation and we’re going to go with that and hopefully they’re right,” Koniar said.
But that will be contingent upon the outcome of a hydraulic study still to be done on the road. Forney said the whole process could take a matter of months to complete.