City declares emergency to repair sinkhole off North Frontage Road

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday declared an emergency following the discovery of a sinkhole on North Frontage Road near an entrance to Blackburn Motors caused by a damaged 8-inch city sewer line.

The board’s decision came at a Thursday meeting. The work is expected to cost about $184,155, according to an estimate by Allen and Hoshall, project engineer for the city’s sewer system rehabilitation program.

The emergency declaration allows city officials to hire a contractor without having to go through the bid process. Interim Public Works Director Dane Lovell said a contractor has not been selected for the work.

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City Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said the line runs from an area near Cannon Motors and behind River Hills Bank to a manhole, where it meets at a junction with a line coming from Blackburn. The 8-inch line is near an entrance to the car dealership off North Frontage Road and across from the rear of the bank. It is presently surrounded by traffic cones and yellow safety tape.

Richardson said the line was installed during the development of the Battlefield Mall, which was Vicksburg’s first all-weather shopping mall. The mall property was later bought by Blackburn and the mall was demolished. The line, city officials said, is 25 to 30 feet deep.

The city does not have the equipment to work on a line that deep, requiring the board to hire a private contractor.

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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