Popular lookouts closed to cars

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vicksburg is home to some spectacular views of the Mississippi River, but not all of the lookout locations will be open to cars while the river is flooding.

The gates at Navy Circle and Louisiana Circle, both just off of Washington Street overlooking the river, have been closed to cars and will remain closed until the water lowers.

Because of an abundance of cars that filled the area during the 2011 flood, the Vicksburg National Military Park has chosen to block off the circles for the time being.

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“In the past we’ve had problems with too many people trying to park their vehicles up there,” VNMP superintendent Bill Justice said.

In 2011 the park staff left the gates open and the parking issue became too much to handle. The staff learned from that mistake and has tried to prevent those issues from repeating.

The circle was not designed for large numbers of cars or people, Justice said. The VNMP is taking precautions to make sure the amount of onlookers doesn’t get out of hand and to prevent traffic hazards.

“The parking within the circles themselves is limited,” Justice said.

The area itself is not unsafe and people are allowed to walk around the lookout as long as they park elsewhere.

“If people want to view the high water from those areas, it’s fine that they go walk in and do that, but they can’t park there,” Justice said.