Manufactured gas plant cleanup scheduled for downtown Macon

Atlanta Gas Light and Georgia Power will spend the next several months cleaning up groundwater issues associated with a manufactured gas facility in downtown Macon dating to the mid- to late 1800s.

The cleanup site is along Terminal Avenue near the intersection of Mulberry and Sixth streets, according to an AGL fact sheet about the project. Other phases of the cleanup were done in 2002 and 2009.

The project is scheduled to begin this week and will last six to eight months. Crews will be working on the cleanup Monday through Saturday, according to AGL.

The work site will include barriers and fencing around the work area, closure of Terminal Avenue and Sixth Street between Walnut and Poplar streets, and the closure of Mulberry Street at the intersection of Sixth Street.

The project will include excavating unsaturated soil for proper management, mixing underground soil with a cement mixture to keep the contamination in place and restoring parcels, curbs and roads after the cleanup, according to the company.

While the project is going on, residents can expect noise and an odor that’s “similar to fresh asphalt,” AGL said. Air quality will be monitored along the perimeter of the work area. Site groundwater also will be monitored after the work is done to determine the effectiveness of the cleanup.

Manufactured gas plants produced gas from coal, oil or pine resin for lighting, cooking and heating, AGL said. Manufactured gas was a forerunner of natural gas, and its by-products and residue must be cleaned up according to current environmental standards.