City hunts for road repair funds
Published 10:58 am Monday, September 12, 2016
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen could find itself either amending its fiscal 2017 budget or moving surplus capital improvements bond money to cover the cost of repairs to Kemp Bottom Road off Warrenton Road.
The board in July declared an emergency and hired engineering firm Stantec to determine the cause of an erosion problem on the west bank of Hatcher Bayou, which crosses the road leading to Entergy’s Baxter Wilson power plant, which is at the end of the road. The declaration allowed the city to hire the engineers and later hire a contractor to fix the problem without having to follow the state bid law.
No money has been set aside for the project, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said, because the cost of fixing the problem is unkown.
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Brian Robbins with Stantec said Friday the problem goes back to the 2011 spring Mississippi River flood, when water filled the bayou’s banks and then quickly dropped, creating an erosion problem weakening the bank. The weakened soil allowed part of a nearby concrete railroad abutment to move, threatening the road bridge, which crosses Hatcher Bayou.
He said Entergy officials have removed the railroad trestle and tracks, which were part of a rail spur to deliver coal to the power plant, which now burns natural gas, but the project has not affected the threat to the road.
“That abutment is a big piece of concrete,” he said.
Robbins said Burns Cooley Dennis, a Jackson engineering firm that specializes in determining the cause of the slide and erosion problems has set an inclinometer to determine how fast the soil is sliding in the area near the bridge. He said Stantec has also been asked to provide a topographic soil analysis on the area.
He said engineers will now need to determine the solution to stabilize the bank.
“We’ll just have to set a priority in our new budget or the bond fund surplus,” Flaggs said. “It’s got to be paid for.”