Utilities present hurdle for new gateway to port

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 17, 2009

Relocating utilities will be a challenge in getting started on replacing the E.W. Haining Road bridge at the Port of Vicksburg, Warren County supervisors said Monday.

Natural gas pipelines serving customers of Vicksburg’s gas service cross railroad right-of-way curving south of the bridge, while electricity lines overhead must be relocated so crews can begin work on the $6.8 million project.

Improvements at the intersection of North Washington Street and the port’s lone entrance also are to accompany the bridge replacement.

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A notice to proceed has been delayed by supervisors as discussions continue with city officials on how the gas line will be dealt with so it remains under municipal purview. Also, crews hired by Entergy still must sign off on plans to relocate the lines, supervisors said.

Financed with a $10 million, Katrina-related disaster recovery grant secured by Warren County in September, the 2 1/2-year project will involve replacing the current two-lane bridge with a wider, four-lane structure capable of handling greater volumes of trucks.

Traffic entering the port will still use the existing bridge while the new one is built. Once that is complete, the current structure will be taken down and two additional lanes constructed. The decades-old bridge is the lone land access point to port industries.

The contract builder is Madison-based Key Constructors, also the builder for the new Yazoo River bridge at Redwood set to open to traffic Monday.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com