Thursday, December 6, 2007
Road work sees progress
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors was recently updated on road and bridge work by engineer Larry Britt and county road and bridge manager Larry Hall.
A warm, and for the most part, dry fall has allowed lots of progress in road and bridge repairs, they said.
The O’Dell Road bridge replacement project is about finished but blacktop won’t be laid to the approaches until next year. Work is paid for with state aid monies.
A smaller bridge west of the two long bridges on O’Dell Road will be taken out and replaced with pipe, Hall said. The creek is dry sand most of the time, except in times of heavy flooding, he said.
Two bridges on Old Highway 7 South in the wetland just below Robert Ford Road are due for replacement.
Work has been held up because some wetlands will be disturbed and the county has been looking for a wetlands bank to purchase replacement wetlands, Britt said. Also easements from the railroad and the U.S. Corps of Engineers have yet to be obtained before work can proceed, he said.
(In prior articles these two bridges have been confused with two other bridges south of Waterford that are presently under construction with respect to wetland mitigation requirements. One of the bridges below Robert Ford Road is the one requiring wetland set-aside acres.)
Britt said he has found some mitigation acreage in Pearl that could cost only $6,000 or less, if it can be acquired.
Some other bridges that need to be repaired or closed in order to satisfy federal program requirements include a list of 14.
Seven have been repaired, several have been closed, and the county will use its resources and crews to replace some small bridges.
Bridges that need replacing include one on Mt. Carmel Road which is already closed to traffic, the small one on O’Dell Road, one on Ship Lane, and one on Whitten Road, Britt said.
Hall said the one on Whitten Road could be torn out and the banks could be sloped by county crews.
“We can use our materials and hire the driving of pilings,” he said. “We can tear it out and block the road.”
The bridge on Ship Lane road can be torn out and replaced with pipe in one day, Hall said.
The two bridges below Waterford cannot be replaced with pipe due to the angle and will be concrete box bridges, Britt said.
Supervisors will have to spend some county bridge and road monies to fix the bridges, Britt said.
“You don’t want them (inspectors) to ride up here one day and the bridges are not closed or fixed,” he said.
A stretch of Hernando Road has been paved and striped and all that is lacking is putting up signs, Britt said.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett reported that Bethlehem Road below Waterford is showing some cracking in the pavement.
Supervisor Willie Flemon asked Britt if there is any money to pave the bypass north of Holly Springs.
Britt suggested the county and city submit a joint resolution to Mississippi Department of Transportation requesting funding.
“It’s something you all and the city both need to push,” he said.
St. Paul Road project
At the request of supervisor George Zinn III, the board attorney Kent Smith summarized the status of a state aid road improvement project on about 1.2 miles of St. Paul Road.
Smith said deeds to rights-of-way which are being donated have been signed by four families.
Other parcels remain to be signed or go into quick-take, he said.
Smith said most of the landowners donated the parcels, mostly 0.1-acre size, because they want their road fixed. The few holding out got lawyers and will likely sign soon.
“It’s amazing the donations of land you will get signed when people want road improvement,” he said. “The holdouts, once they get a lawyer, usually get reasonable and agree to sign.”
Smith said he expects to have a revised animal control ordinance in the hands of supervisors in early December.
The revisions were needed to clear up confusion in the ordinance and to set out the procedure to handle civil and criminal complaints regarding dangerous or vicious dogs, he said.
The county will be in a position to issue citations, Smith said. And penalties will escalate fairly rapidly as citations accrue to strengthen the ordinance, he said.
Waterford Fire Station
Bennett said he has conferred with representatives of the volunteer fire department about the location of a new fire station.
Firefighters said they didn’t like the recent suggested expansion of the department on adjacent lands that were available for purchase.
Supervisors agreed to request 9.74 acres of land belonging to Wall Doxey Park for the new station.
The land had been donated to the county, Bennett said. And the county had turned the acreage over to the park.
Supervisors passed a motion to get a description of the property ready for presentation to the commissioners of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to be held November 29 at Wall Doxey State Park.
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas asked permission to check and see if plat sizes could be reduced to accommodate storage spaces. Some counties are now filing plats on compact disks, he said.
Smith advised supervisors on changes recommended for the law library at the courthouse.
He will recommend products that are cheaper and use less space. After a decision is made, Smith said he wants to clear out old books and make the space useful as a conference or witness room.
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