Contractor repairs Cherry Street line, waiting to pave due to asphalt shortage

Published 12:32 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

A section of Cherry Street from Commerce Street north to Fayette Street remains closed pending paving, Vicksburg Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said on June 1.

“All the storm drain (repair) is done; they have to get the paving done,” he said.

However, he added, Fordice Construction, the contractor for the project, is waiting on asphalt.

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“It just depends on when the asphalt plants are running,” Van Norman said. “It’s going to be an expensive fix.”

City officials closed this section of Cherry Street on April 13 after a more than 100-year-old terra cotta storm drain collapsed under the street, causing a sinkhole.

Because the pipe was buried 13 to 15 feet under the street, it was too deep for city employees to work on it, forcing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to declare an emergency and hire Fordice Construction to make the repairs.

Fordice officials, Van Norman said, called and asked if they could help.

“They did a fine job of it,” he said. “They had to replace the entire storm line (from the manhole to Glass Bayou) with a bigger line. Nothing about it was cheap; the price of everything right now has gone through the roof.”

When the problem was discovered on April 13, Van Norman said a city crew had previously repaired another section of the line that had collapsed.

“(The line) is past its useful life,” he said. “There’s so much water that goes down it that when it rains hard, it blows the manhole cover off the manhole.”

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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