CANTON — A chore the city of Canton has to undertake every few years is coming around early because of more than a year of heavy rain.

A large logjam that has formed around a support of the Waleska Street bridge is to be removed by a contractor, though a start date hasn’t been set, City Manager Billy Peppers said.

A smaller amount of debris was removed in 2016.

“It really is a specialized job and unfortunately the company we used in 2016 is not around. It has to be done every few years, but unfortunately the heavy rains of this year have caused more of a build up faster than normal,” Peppers said.

The National Weather Service has said that during 2018 across the Atlanta area locations received about 20 inches more rainfall than average.

The city spent eight months looking for a contractor to perform the debris removal, Peppers said.

“Unfortunately given the placement of the jam it does make it difficult to find companies that are willing to do the work,” Peppers said. “At this point, it is not endangering the bridge, but of course if left uncontrolled it could cause an issue with water flow.”

The bridge crosses not only the Etowah River, but floodplain and parkland beyond it. The portion over the water has three sets of three concrete piers to support the road bed. The debris accumulation is located at the pier in the middle of the channel on the east side of the bridge, near the Sandy Hook shopping center.

According the U.S. Department of Transportation, debris accumulation on bridge piers can “obstruct waterway openings at bridges and also result in significant erosion of stream banks and scour at abutments and piers.” It can also increase instances of localized flooding, the DOT said.

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