New Fisher Ferry bridge, updated water meters coming to Vicksburg

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. addressed several infrastructure issues at his public question-and-answer session held at City Hall on April 26, including the construction of a new bridge on Halls Ferry and planned updates to antiquated water meters around the city.

Flaggs mentioned that $10 million in funding has been secured for a new bridge on Halls Ferry Road that would replace the current bridge located near the entrance of Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi.

“They’re in the design stage. They got $10 million. And what they’re going to do is that they’re going to do the same thing they did on Highway 27,” he said. “They’re going to build another bridge and keep (the old one) so you don’t have to close down a bridge until the new one is built. So that’s good news for us.”

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The project will be overseen by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which is providing $6 million in funding. The other $4 million was secured in the last session of the state legislature.

Flaggs also said that the city is currently looking at the next steps for replacing and installing new water meters in many parts of the city.

Currently, many water meters that monitor Vicksburg’s municipal water utilities are either not functioning properly due to age or in some cases were never installed in places where they should be.

“I hate to say it, because I’m always embarrassed, but we found out that we’re losing about $1.5 million on our water bills because of the antiquated meters,” Flaggs said.

That estimated $1.5 million loss covers a five to eight-year period. The meters have an expected lifespan of 15 years and are now about twenty years old.

Flaggs said that the revenue increase for replacing and adding new meters will cover the costs of their installation.

“We’re in the process of contracting out where we can almost swap the cost of the meters with the saving,” he said. “So it’ll be a net savings.”

Water Company of America has been contracted by the City of Vicksburg for several years and is currently working on plans for the process of installing the new meters.