HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A sidewalk on Hutchinson Island was damaged over the weekend. Photos appear to show the sidewalk on the plaza — located between the Savannah Convention Center and Westin Hotel — caved in.
Chatham County Manager Lee Smith said engineers are using technology to look below the water’s surface to get an idea of how much needs to be fixed. Smith said they will also look at other areas along the dock for any additional damage.
“We’ve been doing things the last couple days for penetration radar looking at things,” Smith said. “Because obviously, when you’ve been out there, you can’t see much. They’re still blocking things on top. So we can’t excavate until that comes back and we find out where we are.”
“Timelines, we don’t know,” Smith continued. “It depends on what we find and the big thing is stabilization and then looking at a long-term fix.”
Smith said so far, engineers believe multiple factors led to the collapse. But he did not share any potential factors, saying the county will have definite answers once the assessment is complete.
“No sea monster, no runaway tug, CAT ferries didn’t run into the wall — nothing like that,” Smith said. “We do think the issues that have been had it’s been over a long period of time, is what we think.”
All of this comes as Savannah will host the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual convention this weekend. But officials said other parts of the dock are safe, the ferries are still running and both the Westin and convention center are fully-operational.
“We don’t really see any impact to the conference at all in the coming days,” Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah said. “We feel very, very good about what we heard this morning as it relates to getting people back and forth not only from the other side of the island to Hutchinson Island, but back and forth from the Westin to the convention center.”
The county manager said as of now, engineers do not anticipate any major environmental impact during the repair process. He also said the county won’t know how much the project will cost until crews finish surveying the damage.
Stick with WSAV News 3 for updates on this developing story.