A solid infrastructure is what our community must be built on

Published 2:30 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

Quick reader survey; when it comes to the topics we cover, is there any more boring topic than when we write about infrastructure?

No need to answer, we know … it’s no. Trust us; there are few topics on our end more boring to cover than infrastructure.

But while stories about roads, bridges, water lines and sewage systems appear to be boring, in most cases they are very important for us to cover, and for you, the residents of Vicksburg and Warren County, to understand.

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In recent weeks, we have written a number of articles about the impending work on an auxiliary water line that will run from the city’s water treatment facility to a connection near the Lower Mississippi River Museum.

We have shared the history of how the project came about, the partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the cost. What we have not done is clarify its importance.

Far too often stories about infrastructure projects publish only when something has gone wrong; for example, a bridge closed, road washed away or a broken water main submerged under 10 feet of floodwater. Remember that last one? It was a big deal.

Remember the days of water outages and the even longer boil water notices? Remember the dozens of dump truck trips needed to build a temporary dam, and pumps needed to remove water from the area where the water line break was? Remember the cost?

There is not an elected official in the world who likes to talk about infrastructure and even fewer who want to talk about paying for projects such as water lines or sewer lines. It’s hard to campaign about something few people can see. But those who place the proper importance on such projects, and staying ahead of potential disasters, are more than politicians, they are leaders.

Recently, we have also written about the South Frontage Road expansion project. For more than two decades this project has been talked about and, finally, work might actually start at the end of November.

This is one of those projects that has been hampered by red tape, governmental bureaucracy and being pushed on to the next person and next administration. If this is really to happen this time, we hope and pray the expansion road will have an impact on business and development in that area of Vicksburg it has long been promised to have.

Infrastructure by its very name is important. It is what our community is literally built upon and when it crumbles, major components of our society crumble.

We need fresh water when we need it. We need the sewage system to work for obvious reasons, and we need safe roads and bridges.