County finds funds to repair damage to LeTourneau Road

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Emergency money is available to Warren County where supervisors have been searching for funds to repair year-long structural damage on part of LeTourneau Road.

The county will apply for $100,000 to finance permanent repairs to an .8-mile section of the westbound lane, graveled since it washed out after the 2008 flood.

Despite this year’s threat, damage was minimal. The river was at 46.3 feet today, and might be falling  below the 43-foot flood stage by Sunday. Last year was a different story, when the river crested over the roadway that leads to a fabrication area for the company, one of the area’s largest employers.

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The funds are part of a program aimed at public facility improvement projects that would benefit low- and moderate-income people, prevent or eliminate slums or blight, or, in the case the county will make for the road, would meet a particular urgency.

“This is the case in the LeTourneau Road area,” said Olie Elfer of Gouras Urban Planning Consultants Inc. during a short public hearing Monday as supervisors met. Though specific functions associated in the grant will be named later, the firm likely will act as administrator for amounts awarded locally.

Community Development Block Grant funds available to Mississippi total $500,000 for emergency public facility repairs, Elfer said.

A $1 million project to rebuild the road’s supporting soils was undertaken after last year’s floods inundated much of the roadway, the lone access to the site where LeTourneau Technologies employees assemble offshore oil rigs. A temporary asphalt surface has been applied in recent weeks as river stages threatened to top 48 feet, the level that covered the road and hampered access to the yard during the 2008 floods. Farmland on either side of the repaired portion of roadway and much of LeTourneau public boat landing remained under water Monday, as the area has become a fishing hole for afternoon anglers.

On Monday, supervisors OK’d a $149,450.93 pay estimate to Central Asphalt for the work and voted to reopen LeTourneau public boat landing after it was closed Saturday by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

“This has never happened before without getting notice,” Board President Richard George said.

The launch opened in the mid-1990s with help from grants administered by the state agency. The area’s other boat landing is at Eagle Lake, where grant funds are financing a new restroom for the facility.


On the agenda

Meeting Monday, Warren County supervisors:

• Directed their attorney to notify one of three private garbage haulers of a 30-day window to submit an accurate client list to the county’s Environmental Office or face legal action. Efforts to match all client lists to actual addresses has been ongoing since early 2008.

• Approved a resolution requesting Industrial Drive be designated an intermodal connector road. The road connects with E.W. Haining Road to the north and dead-ends just past DTE PetCoke. The designation will help obtain federal money to improve the driving surface, said Wayne Mansfield, port director.

• Approved a $316,765 estimate to Key LLC for the Haining Road bridge replacement.

• Approved invoices totaling $38,044.88 for engineer John McKee and $5,151 for attorney Randy Sherard.

• Approved District 2 Supervisor William Banks to serve on the WWISCAA board of directors.

• Accepted the resignation of Renay Jenkins from the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau board. The seat is appointed from District 3.

• Approved a $4,271 loan to the drug court fund.

• Approved $70,000 to match a grant for the new fire truck at the Eagle Lake Volunteer Department. The truck was financed via the state’s Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Program.

• Approved giving $141,500 in tax funds to 11 nonprofit agencies operating in Warren County. Permission was obtained from the Legislature for the gifts, which were reduced 10 percent due to budget constraints.

• Approved a $7,363.33 payment to Colorado-based Voorhis/Robertson Justice Services Inc.  The firm is about halfway through a feasibility study on a new county jail.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at