Fort Hill Drive put under city maintenance

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fort Hill Drive from Glass Bayou north to the Fort Hill Drive entrance of the Vicksburg National Military Park is now under the care of the City of Vicksburg.

In separate meetings Monday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Warren County Board of Supervisors signed papers giving the city authority to take over the road, which has been a county road since the National Park Service deeded it to Warren County in 1936.

In February, the boards each signed an interlocal agreement allowing the city to take over maintenance and repair of the road, but the agreement had to be approved by Attorney General Bill Hood’s office before it could be implemented. A letter giving Hood’s approval was received last week.

The decision means the city will be able to lay a portion of a 30-inch auxiliary water line down the center of Fort Hill Drive from near the National Military Park entrance south to connect with an existing water line on Jackson Street. That means traffic will be detoured from Fort Hill during periods of construction and possibly through the park during the estimated 90 days it will take to install the line in the street.

City officials and representatives from Jackson-based IMS Engineers said Thursday they will meet with residents living on Fort Hill Drive from the park entrance south to Fayette Street in July to discuss the project. The firm was hired in 2010 to steer the project after the city’s main water line was threatened by ground movement along North Washington Street.

“Any time you take a project of this magnitude under consideration, you have to go to those respective communities and meet with the citizens that live in, or will be affected by, any given project,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said.

“This project probably is going to be one of the most serious projects the City of Vicksburg has ever undertaken,” he said. “Once we finish with the red tape, this project will be on go, but we want to make sure that the citizens understand there can, and more likely will be, some inconveniences to the people who live north of the bridge at the bottom of Fort Hill, and we’re going to minimize that as much as we can.”

City officials propose to install the waterline to provide an alternate water source to the city’s estimated 10,000 customers if something happens to the city’s 36-inch main water line that runs along Washington Street.

The estimated $3.2 million project is funded by a $2.45 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with an $841,821 match from the city.

The line would start at the water treatment plant at Haining Road, go north along North Washington Street to a point south of Vicksburg National Cemetery, where it will cross park property and go from Fort Hill Drive to Cherry Street, where it would connect the city line on Jackson Street.

 

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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