MDOT hopes repairs to levee road will ease travel Power to Redwood expected to be restored fully by weekend

Published 12:05 am Saturday, June 18, 2011

A temporary fix to Mississippi 465 atop the mainline Mississippi River levee in Issaquena County should make for a smoother ride to areas at lakes Chotard and Albemarle.

Rough spots in the thin asphalt surface were patched Thursday and Friday by the Mississippi Department of Transportation on the levee road, where passenger cars and big rigs alike have detoured since 465 between U.S. 61 North and Eagle Lake closed May 3. Water up to 6 feet deep in some spots during the historic Mississippi River flood has receded completely off the surface, but tests for subsurface seepage should continue into next week.

“It’s to make the road a little more friendly,” MDOT Central District Engineer Kevin Magee, who added the agency is “discussing options right now” on a more permanent repair job.

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The roadway hops on the levee for about 2.5 miles and continues past Ziegler and Laney Camp roads in Warren County. Much of the repair is along a 1.2-mile stretch between Goose Lake Road and the first cattle gap, Magee said.

Stages on the Mississippi River fell another 4/10 of a foot, to 42.1 feet Friday night. The river had been above Vicksburg’s 43-foot flood stage since May 1.

Power to the Redwood area was to be fully restored this weekend by Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association, according to the utility’s operations department. If so, International Paper’s Vicksburg Mill could return to full production and staffing by month’s end, said Amy Sawyer, a senior communications manager with the Memphis-based paperboard maker.

The plant shut down May 9 to prepare for the rising backup from the Yazoo River. The plant employs 296.