Colonial Pipeline will spend up to a year performing maintenance on a pipeline that runs under the Chattahoochee River from National Park Service (NPS) land in East Cobb to Sandy Springs.
The pipeline from Houston to New York City transports diesel fuel, jet fuel and some home heating oil on Colonial’s system, according to Chip Little, the company’s government affairs manager.
Little told the Sandy Springs City Council at its April 4 meeting that Colonial will inspect a portion of the pipeline and install a sleeve, which will protect the original pipe from external damage and may extend its life.
To access the pipe, a temporary bridge will be built across the river approximately 1.6 miles downstream of the Georgia Power hydro-dam at Morgan Falls and just upstream from the Johnson Ferry bridge. A coffer dam, a watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the riverbed to permit the work, will be installed to access the pipe, according to Terry Mock, a right-of-way consultant for Colonial.
Two residential properties in Sandy Springs will be impacted by right-of-way clearing, water discharge from the coffer dam and noise, he said. Approximately 20 to 30 homes will be able to see or hear the work.
Only one section of the trail is closed on the Cobb County side of the Chattahoochee, Allyson Read, NPS Natural Resource Specialist, said.
“They’re going to have a lot of safety features in place including buoys, notifying visitors both upstream and downstream,” she said.
Signs will be erected to warn recreational users of the river about the pipeline work.
Some height markings will be made on the bridge piers to let people on the river know much clearance they’ll have from the bridge down to the river, Read said. It will only be a worry when the water runs unusually high. Enough room will be available for a standup paddleboarder to float on the river.
The coffer dam will go out 60 feet and the river is 273 feet wide in that area, Read said.
“They’ve done a lot of work with us to minimize impacts on recreation on the river and on the land, too,” she said.