Outdoor work at depot will be redesigned

Published 11:55 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An outdoor display area at the old Levee Street Depot will be redesigned, and a ceiling and a roof are being replaced under two supplemental agreements to the project that were approved Monday by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The 104-year-old depot is being restored and is expected to be completed by Oct. 23. It will house offices for the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and Vicksburg Main Street, and a transportation museum.

The outside display area includes five sets of railroad tracks on the west side of the depot that will be used for static rail car displays. Under one amendment, one set of tracks will be eliminated, and a new sidewalk will be built around the remaining four sets of tracks.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Victor Gray-Lewis, city building and inspection department director and the city’s project director for the depot restoration, said the new sidewalk is part of the sidewalk system extending from the depot to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ MV Mississippi IV and Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Center.

Included in the amendment for the tracks is an order replacing ceilings in two rooms on the depot’s first floor. The cost of the display area redesign and the ceilings is $12,725, according to contract documents. The project, however, will cost the city $1,000, because it will receive an $11,725 credit for removing one set of tracks.

The roof is a separate amendment. The board approved a contract change with depot project architects Waycaster & Associates to design the new metal lean-to roof for the porch area on the west side of the building.

The board also authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for bids for installing the roof, which will be paid with money from a Mississippi Department of Archives and History grant for the depot.

Gray-Lewis said the roof work is being done instead of a covered walkway that originally was planned for the restoration.

He said the city learned during the 2011 spring flood that the walkway, which would have covered the new sidewalk, was impractical.

“It would have interfered with the flood wall (on the south end),” he said. “We have pictures of the depot from the 1920s that show the covered walkway, but the flood wall wasn’t there. It was an addition (after the 1927 flood).”

Work on the depot restoration began in 2010 and was halted when the Mississippi River dumped 4 feet of water into the building as it reached record heights in Vicksburg, cresting at 57.1 feet on May 19, 14.1 feet above flood stage and nine-tenths of a foot above the Great Flood of 1927.

The depot became the backdrop for media coverage during the flood. Work resumed in June.

Workers for project contractor Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. Builder are completing work on the depot, including repairs to interior work that was damaged by the flood.

City street department employees are installing a brick sidewalk at the depot that will be part of a pathway linking the structure with the other downtown attractions.

The sidewalk will connect the depot with the Art Park at Catfish Row and nearby splash fountain, and to the MV Mississippi IV and Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Center site, providing visitors a better opportunity to enjoy the riverfront attractions.