City of Vicksburg signs engineer agreements for traffic study, bridge repair

Published 2:31 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen has signed agreements with Neel-Schaffer engineers to perform a traffic count on a section of North Washington Street and prepare a design and specifications for work on the Baldwin Ferry Road bridge over the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks.

The board approved both agreements totaling $20,300 — $3,500 for the traffic count and $16,800 for the bridge repair — at its Monday meeting.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield requested the count.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

According to the agreement, Neel-Schaffer will perform counts at three separate locations along Washington Street:

• South of the Port of Vicksburg at Haining Road

• South of Sherman Avenue

• At or near Spouts Spring Road

The study is expected to help city officials determine current patterns of vehicles and trucks along that portion of its designated truck route. The traffic counts will provide the city with a summary report showing the average daily traffic, or ADT; the vehicle classification of ADT and the speed of the vehicles.

“This traffic count is going to tell us something,” Mayfield said. “It will tell you what’s really going on in that area and that’s what we need to know.”

When companies come to the city to look at an area, he said, “You want to have that (traffic count) in your hand; you don’t want to have to hurry up and do it. You want to have it in your hand so you can say, ‘Here it is.’”

Mayfield said there has been some interest in the corridor between First East and Spouts Spring Road, but would not say who is looking.

“I want a good count during the week,” he said. “I also want a good count on the weekend because your traffic flow changes at 5 o’clock on Friday and I want to make sure if it’s a change, it’s a good change.”

Van Norman said the Baldwin Ferry Road Bridge agreement involves repairs to the bridge, which was damaged when it was struck by a car.

“(The car) hit the bridge and tore the guardrail off it and damaged the concrete structurally,” he said. “It broke some of the concrete on the side of the bridge so there’s going to have to be some work done. I think we’ll declare an emergency.”

He said Neel-Schaffer does all the bridge inspections for Warren County and has examined the Baldwin Ferry bridge to make sure it did not have to be closed.

Van Norman said the city initially hired Fordice Construction to fix the problem, but Fordice refused to do any work on the bridge until an engineer assessed the damage and determined the best way to repair it.

“It’s over the main line Kansas City Southern tracks, so there’s more to it than just going out there and doing something,” he said.

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.

email author More by John