Dangerous mess’ near Home Depot site gets attention, stretch of safety netting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 29, 2002

Vehicles drive past the cleared Ergon property off South Frontage Road Wednesday. (The Vicksburg Post/C. Todd Sherman)

[08/29/02]Clearing work for the Home Depot project on South Frontage has exposed a roadside ravine that got attention Wednesday afternoon.

As a preventive measure, orange safety netting was strung along the roadside as a visual warning for drivers to be careful.

“It’s the most dangerous mess I’ve ever seen,” retired Army colonel and engineer Joe Dawsey, who asked for action on the situation, said before the netting was strung. “The city has completely ignored it.”

The ravine across from Saxton’s, a tire and auto repair company, is natural, but was shielded by trees and brush before site work began for the Ergon Properties shopping complex. Now bared, a 40-foot drop awaits any motorist who edges a few feet off the southern edge of the road.

“If some kids let their car just weave over, they’re off down the hill,” he said.

The City of Vicksburg is responsible for the maintenance of the road, public works director James “Bubba” Rainer said.

“We just spoke with Ergon, and they will have orange fencing up tomorrow,” Vicksburg mayor’s office spokesman Patty Mekus said Wednesday before the netting was strung.

The ravine will be filled as the site work continues, eliminating the hazard. “They’re trying to get it leveled as soon as possible,” Mekus said. “We’d made the request prior.”

Ergon project engineer Charlie Buntyn was not available.

The large tract is to be centered by a franchise of Home Depot, a chain of lumber, hardware and home decorating stores. Opening is projected for April.