A few cold, hard winter weather months this year wreaked havoc on some Dunwoody roads, with potholes sprouting here and there. Filling the potholes should be completed easily and quickly over the spring and summer as weather improves, according to the director of Public Works.
But there are still a few consistent, nagging problems on city streets that irk some motorists.

Michael Smith, wearing the longsleeve shirt, checks out neighborhood paving in the Dunwoody Highlands neighborhood last year. (File/Dyana Bagby)

Mount Vernon Road

In early March, city crews completed a few “spot repairs” to an approximately 150-foot section of Mount Vernon Road in front of the Panera Bread restaurant at the Chamblee-Dunwoody Road intersection, which had been cracking and buckling for more than two years. Public Works Director Michael Smith estimated the cost at about $20,000.

But the real issue lies below the asphalt to the backfill used when a water main below the road was replaced in 2015. DeKalb County and the city entered into an agreement three years ago to share costs with the water main repair and the subsequent repaving of the road.

GS Construction was hired to do the water main repair and repaving and has said the city should pay to repair the road. Alessandro Salvo, CEO of GS Construction, has said the city and county told him to fill the trench dug for the water main with loose rock rather than solid dirt. That loose rock is like a liquid underneath the road and will constantly be moving, affecting the road, Salvo said. To repair the road, the road needs to be completely dug up and the backfill replaced, he said.

Smith said the city believes GS Construction should cover the permanent repairs and said the issue is a “pending legal matter.”

“The city considers this a warranty issue. The problems surfaced in the one-year warranty,” Smith said.
But the cracking and buckling had gotten to the point where “it was causing it to be rough through there” and temporary repaving in March was necessary, Smith said.

“Our maintenance crews fixed it and we are still pursuing who will be eventually financially responsible,” Smith said. “We’re going to let the legal process play out.”

Salvo could not be immediately reached for comment.

North Peachtree Road traffic calming

Traffic calming on North Peachtree Road is wrapping up, Smith said, but complaints continue about a mini traffic circle at the Saffron Drive intersection that had to be installed twice in early March.

Smith explained that the original design for the mini traffic circle included a landscape island, but further review determined that school buses would not be able to turn easily around the circle. Before any work was started, the city eliminated landscaping and told the contractor to build a cone-shaped cement lip around the island that would allow buses and large trucks to run over it easily, Smith said.

The contractor instead built a flat surface that was hard on the tires of vehicles. Smith said the contractor acknowledged the mistake and made repairs at their cost.

“We still wanted a barrier in the middle, but one that buses and big trucks can run over,” Smith said.

Wyntercreek Drive

Originally paved late last year, Wyntercreek Drive will have to be completely repaved this spring, Smith said. Wyntercreek Road is a short residential road off Roberts Drive near Dunwoody Park.

“There are a few places we are really not satisfied with on the surface,” he said, “so we told the contractor to redo it.”
Smith said the contractor will be required to mill down the entire road and pave a new surface at their own expense.

This story has been updated to state it is Wyntercreek Drive, not Wyntercreek Road, that will be repaved.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.