Lake Forrest Drive is closed between Chevaux Court and Lake Summit Drive.
Lake Forrest Drive is closed between Chevaux Court and Lake Summit Drive.

Residents living along Lake Forrest Drive aren’t going to like this.

It will be late September before the city can fix the section of the road between Lake Summit and Chevaux Court. Both lanes of the road were closed on Aug. 5 and it has been a one lane road for several weeks while crews assessed its condition following multiple rock slides.

Prognosis? Not good.

Sandy Springs City Council at its Aug. 6 meeting gave city staff the OK to fix the road without going through the usual public bid process, saying the road’s condition is an emergency that threatens public safety.

Public Works Director Garrin Coleman said consultants boring into the soil along the road drilled down as much as 40 feet in some places before hitting solid rock. The quality of the soil beneath the road will mean costly fixes before road crews can stabilize it.

“We have a lot less rock than we thought we had,” Coleman said. “We have little to no substantial (useable) rock in the rock face itself.”

The road work could cost as much as $1.5 million, according to information Coleman gave the council.

The road closure isn’t blocking any driveways, but it is disrupting a north-to-south route that many residents take to avoid the congestion of Roswell Road.

City Councilman John Paulson, a professional engineer, said under optimal circumstances the work could be finished within two months. He said the small size of the site will make the repairs challenging for any contractor.

Paulson said the project could have implications for other roads in the city, too.

“This isn’t the only near vertical rock face in the city,” Paulson said. “We’ve now got a process in place to start looking at the rest of these.”

In other business, the council approved the purchase of the Waffle House on Mount Vernon Highway and the old Mellow Mushroom building on Roswell Road.

The purchases put the city closer to its goal of redeveloping its city center, located north of the intersection of Roswell Road and I-285.

The city has entered into an agreement to buy the Waffle House for $1.15 million and the old Mellow Mushroom for $400,000.

As part of the agreement, the city will pay to relocate the Waffle House to another site on Roswell Road after Jan. 1, 2014, City Attorney Wendell Willard said.

“We’re very happy they’re going to stay in the community,” Willard said.

Willard said the owners of the Mellow Mushroom building have asked to be able to use the property through the end of the year. Willard said it is the original Mellow Mushroom location and the company wanted to use it in its 40th anniversary celebrations.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of