Damaged sewer line blocks traffic on Baldwin Ferry

Published 10:21 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

Vicksburg city employees work on a sewer line on Baldwin Ferry Road. The road is closed between Mission 66 and Hope Street . (Josh Edwards/The Vicksburg Post)

Vicksburg city employees work on a sewer line on Baldwin Ferry Road. The road is closed between Mission 66 and Hope Street . (Josh Edwards/The Vicksburg Post)

Baldwin Ferry Road between Mission 66 and Hope Street was reopened to traffic early Wednesday afternoon after city sewer department crews replaced a section of collapsed sewer line in the center of the street.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said the problem was reported earlier this month when people living along Balwin Ferry near the broken pipe complained that plumbing was slowly draining.

“The (sewer) crew put the camera in the line and found the problem,” he said. “We waited until school was out before we began working on it.” Work began on the line Tuesday morning and was completed late Wednesday morning.

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

Van Norman said the line was part of one of the city’s older sections. He wasn’t sure of its exact age, “but it was installed in the early 1900s.”

“It was old, corrugated concrete pipe; it was very thin. It didn’t have any steel rods supporting it,” he said, adding the pipe was about 9 feet in the ground, allowing city workers to make the repairs.

The collapsed line is the latest problem with the city’s aging sewer system, much of which is 107 years old.

In March, a collapsed 100-year-old clay storm drain pipe created a 2-foot sinkhole in the westbound lane of National Street near its intersection with Washington Street, forced city officials to close the street until a contractor could be hired to repair the damaged pipe, which was about 12 feet below the street. City workers are unable to work below depths of 9 feet because the city does not have the proper equipment to work in deep holes.

In December, a broken storm sewer line created a sinkhole on Speed Street that briefly immobilized a garbage truck.

In 2013, contractors hired by the city to repair a damaged 107-year-old sewer line at the intersection of Bowmar Avenue and Letitia Street removed the pavement to find a 10-foot deep cavern where the soil under the street had been sucked away through the broken line. In 2012, a section of the eastbound lane of Clay Street between Cleveland and Vanderbilt streets had to be repaired after city workers noticed a depression in the street caused by a leaking 100-year-old storm drain.

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.

email author More by John