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County to spend $50,000 to upgrade Eagle Lake landing

[04/09/01] Eagle Lake landing will get a $50,000 upgrade from Warren County this month to repair eroded walkways and stabilize boat docks.

Erosion has caused sidewalks at the public facility serving the county’s largest lake to fall in and become washed out.

County road manager Rhea Fuller said there also are problems with the docks. “The mechanisms that hold them in place aren’t holding them together as they should” Fuller said.

He said the poles for the docks are sinking and may create instability and cause the docks to swing.

“If it is not fixed soon it could certainly cause some problems down the road,” Fuller said.

County engineer John McKee said there are also plans to add curbs and gutters at the landing, but erosion protection is the main focus.

He said the $50,000 to fix the the Eagle Lake landing will come from funds allocated but not needed in the LeTourneau boat ramp project.

Hopefully, we can go back and get additional funds for LeTourneau to finish that project,” McKee said.

A $345,665 grant was given to Warren County by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in August 2000 to fund the LeTourneau project, which provides access to the Mississippi River west of U.S. 61 South. The project includes building high-and low-water ramps, adding rocks along the banks for erosion control, constructing paved parking areas and adding lighting.

Phase I of the LeTourneau project, the construction of a low-water ramp, has been completed and requests for funding for Phase II will be made on July 1, the beginning of a new fiscal year, Board of Supervisors president Richard George said.

Funds left over from Phase I of the LeTourneau project were allowed to be used for Eagle Lake landing, George said. “The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been very helpful and cooperative with us on this,” he said.

Phase II at LeTourneau and the work at Eagle Lake will be dependent on water levels, George said.

The Eagle Lake landing project is expected to be completed by June 30 and bids will be opened April 16.

People who spent Thursday afternoon enjoying Eagle Lake said they found the landing to be pleasant but some had suggestions for improvement.

“They could use some steps and handrails,” Travis Knight of Meridian said. “A motorized boat launch would be nice, too.”

Vicksburg resident Robert Gray said he tries to get out on the lake weekly and is mostly pleased with the landing but said more protection from the wind for boaters would be a plus.

“There’s no protection from the north and west winds,” he said. “The last time I was here, the wind blew in from the north and my boat filled with water.”

Gray suggested making the boat ramp into an “L” shape to provide more protection.

“For the most part, it’s really nice,” he said. “I’m glad they put a boat ramp out here.”

Fuller also said the county would like to make accessibility to the docks more convenient for the public.

Hazlehurst resident Cecil Bowlin found nothing to fuss about.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said. “It’s much better than many public landings.”

Bowlin said he noticed the eroded walkways but figures that is expected near a lake and doesn’t think it presents any serious hazard.

However, Fuller said he hopes the repairs will be done before any problems can occur and to the benefit of boaters and Warren County.

“Ultimately, the county will have to maintain what is done,” Fuller said. “So hopefully, it will be done in a way that won’t require too much maintenance.”