Atlanta’s pedestrians, who have only recently managed to avoid accidents walking on slippery ice and trudging through heavy rains, are likely to face more dangers even as the weather clears. The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting on a sudden outbreak of thefts in the Atlanta metro area. The thieves seem to be targeting grates and manhole covers across the city.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, as many as 645 grates and 20 manhole covers have been stolen around the city. The rash of thefts apparently began last spring. While the GDOT has tried to use its investigators to catch these thieves, it has had limited success because the stolen grates and covers are scattered all around the Metro Atlanta Area. It’s very likely that these people are recycling the steel. Investigators have checked with recycling centers across the city, and have come up with zilch. This means that the covers are being disposed of outside the Metro Atlanta Area.
The DOT is welding down the grates and new manhole covers. Uncovered holes are being marked with cones and yellow tape. These thefts couldn’t be coming at a worse time for the Georgia DOT. The agency is grappling with a tight budget, and it is estimated that replacing these grates and covers may cost more than $500,000.
Meanwhile, Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyers would encourage pedestrians to watch out for open manhole covers and missing grates. These could pose a serious risk of a slip and fall accident. Falling into an open manhole is no joke.It’s a terrifying ordeal that can at the very least leave a person with fractures and lacerations, and at the worst, cause head and spine injuries.
We would also encourage motorists to look out for suspicious persons working near a grate. A non-GDOT car nearby would be a telltale sign of criminal activity.