Vicksburg Board hires engineers to help with Farmer Street slide repair

Published 12:50 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

A Ridgeland engineering firm has been hired to provide geotechnical services involving repairs for a slide area on Farmer Street.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Wednesday approved a $13,500 contract with Burns Cooley Dennis, a Ridgeland-based engineering firm that has experience with repairing slide areas. The company has also been hired by the city to assist with repairs to slides at Riverfront Park.

The board also has a $46,956 contract with Neel-Schaffer Engineers for the engineering of the project.

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According to the contract with Burns Cooley Dennis, the company will take three soil borings from the slide area, analyze and evaluate the samples and prepare a report on the results, review the plans and specifications prepared by Neel-Schaffer and meet with the engineers to discuss proposed solutions to repair the slide area.

The Farmer Street slide and a slide area on Clover Lane were two of the more serious slides that occurred during the heavy rains that hit the Warren County area between January and April 2020.

The city on Nov. 10 received a $267,300 Natural Resources Conservation Service grant for the two projects. The money is expected to cover about 80 percent of the projects’ total  $348,300 cost, with the city providing the balance of $81,000.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said during a Nov. 1 board meeting the situation at both sites was getting serious.

“It’s getting to where it (the slides) could affect the streets,” he said. “It hasn’t yet, but is probably going to.”

He said the Farmer Street slide, which occurred in February 2020, is probably the worst of the two slides.

The slide, which took a section of property between two buildings at 1108 and 1114 Farmer St., sent soil cascading down a slope into a dead-end section of China Street, which is at the bottom of a slope behind the property.

Farmer Street and Clover Lane were two of nine projects involving erosion problems that were submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the city for emergency grant money.

The other areas included Riverfront Park, James E. Sturgis Sr. Street, Crestline Lane (street), Greenhill, a culvert on Crestline Lane, a culvert near the intersection of Iowa Boulevard and U.S. 61 South near McDonald’s and the City Park project to replace a damaged walking trail and replace fencing.

When FEMA did not approve Clover Lane and Farmer Street for emergency funds, city officials applied for the NRCS funds. The board in February approved taking a $4 million short-term loan to begin repairs at some of the slide areas while waiting on the federal money. The loan will be repaid with federal funds.

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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