County, city to maintain Fort Hill Drive

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An auxiliary water line to serve about 10,000 water customers in Vicksburg is still a project without a timeline, but future maintenance of the thoroughfare it’ll follow was buttoned up on paper this week.

Warren County supervisors on Monday OK’d its half of an new interlocal agreement to help the city oversee Fort Hill Drive, where the city expects to build a backup line with a $2.45 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The route would start at the water treatment plant at Haining Road, go along North Washington Street to a point south of Vicksburg National Cemetery, where it will cross federal property to Fort Hill Drive and then to Cherry Street, according to engineering plans.

The city would pay the low end of the

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The agreement is the 13th such pact on shared services and was written to cover the “operation, control and maintenance” of Fort Hill, the main access road to the USS Cairo Museum and the Vicksburg National Cemetery. Legal descriptions dating to 1936 show the street was deeded to Warren County, which played into closed-door negotiations that entered the public realm last week.

Vicksburg National Military Park follows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service definition of a wetland, one that is more stringent classification than the Corps’. Park officials told the city last week the line would cross the drainage area for Mint Springs, which flows through the park. Another meeting, between the Corps and the park, is set March 27.

Unless the wetlands issue is resolved, park officials said, the permit to lay the line across the park won’t be issued.

The engineering contract was let in 2010 to Jackson-based IMS Engineers after a chunk of land under North Washington Street eroded, threatening the city’s main 36-inch water line and starting talk of building a secondary line. The main line was later relocated.