Liberty Road interchange getting revamped to the roots

Published 12:08am Saturday, April 6, 2013

NATCHEZ — Once a well-groomed and welcoming green space entrance to the City of Natchez from the Natchez Trace Parkway, the now neglected landscaping at the Liberty Road interchange will soon be taken out down to the roots.

When the overpass was opened in 2007, the Mississippi Department of Transportation maintained the flowerbeds, ground cover and shrubbery at the interchange. However, in recent years, MDOT has not done so, and last spring MDOT officials said no agreement had ever been put in place to determine who was responsible for the interchange’s maintenance.

For the last couple of years, volunteer groups have worked to maintain the interchange, pulling weeds, cutting grass and performing other maintenance work.

But now Adams County Extension Service Director David Carter — who is also a county supervisor and has made county beautification a personal goal — said the interchange has reached a point of neglect where the best way to maintain it is to remove much of the landscaping.

Tuesday through Thursday of next week, inmate crews provided by the City of Natchez, Adams County and the state will start clearing the interchange’s flowerbeds and some shrubbery.

“With no maintenance plan whatsoever from the city or the state, this is the easiest way to have the long-term control of the intersection,” Carter said.

“We are not going to take out any of the trees or Indian crepe myrtles, but whatever can be mowed is going to start being mowed.”

The areas that the inmates clear will be seeded with Bermuda grass, and once the grass is seeded, the city will be able to cut it, Carter said.

MDOT has previously said that with its cessation of maintenance of the interchange, the responsibility of its maintenance falls to the City of Natchez. Carter said he approached city officials and got permission to remove the landscaping.

Carter said he hopes that once the grass is established and a basic maintenance routine is in place, some low-maintenance plants and shrubs might be planted.

“We might look at having some crepe myrtles to line the median or something else that could work out there, but right now we just want to get it where it is cleaned up and presentable and easy to maintain,” he said.

Any future plantings would have to be approved by MDOT, Carter said.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I’ll have to find another place to hunt rabbits! :)

  • Anonymous

    Plant some concrete in the center highway median, mowable trees or shrubs in the side areas.

  • riviera7

    that is the saddest thing i have heard. please do not plant grass or concrete. Even weedy, the landscaping adds a lovely statement to the entrance to Natchez.

  • Anonymous

    My question would be that if inmates can be used to tear it up, why can’t they be used to keep the weeds pulled and bush’s trimmed? It’s so sad that such a beautiful intersection will revert back to high grass and trash for most of each year. Just another negative mark on our community. Given a beautiful gift, and we throw it away.:-(

  • Anonymous

    I agree that it is VERY sad to remove what was ONCE beautiful landscaping. It was A LOT OF MONEY spent on plantings. But, the inability of the city to properly maintain the area has led to this, which is really the only way to go. The city is just not interested in taking care of it ( is that a shock, or what?) I applaud Mr Carter in leading the charge to DO SOMETHING about the eyesore. Now I will ask: where is the city leadership? Why are THEY not spearheading the effort?

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I agree, scampson. But the complete and utter lack of maintenance by the city has led to this. What a failure. And yet, millions will be spent on this new transit facility, more will be dumped into the old depot to just turn it into another bathroom facility and (doomed) farmers market. And how long will these places last WITHOUT MAINTAINANCE? Stay tuned…

  • Anonymous

    I have noticed that some plants in the median (the by-pass) have been holding up well. Could they hold up in the entire median? I have no opinion for the rest.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Now, everyone lets be honest, everyone knew that the Ms. Hwy. department planted all that for the ribbon cutting and that was the end of that!!! They are not going to keep such up so, if the city (public works) wants to keep it up well and fine but if people of the general public get out there the city is liable if the get hit by a car or any accident!!! So, get the mowers and cut it down and let the grass grow looks a thousand per cent better in all ways if it is cut regular and the trash picked up!!

  • Anonymous

    Classic government planning…..NONE. In under six years its gone to crap. Who was in charge of this project in 2007?

  • Anonymous

    Wabbit season is not open but I think duck season is Mr. Fudd. heh heh heh

  • Anonymous

    And I’m tellin’ you, it’s wabbit season!! Funny. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Anonymous

    Wabbits are not vewwy fond of a Cook. Go pway with your organ Burnwee. hahaha

  • Anonymous

    LOL! Can we say…hasenpfeffer?? I feel a little STEWED….

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely outrageous!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Because they don’t give a crap, like everything else around here.

  • Anonymous

    In other news, it was just discovered on page 933 of the Unaffordable Care Act that Indian crepe myrtles will be taxed at 3.8%, effective 1JAN14.

  • Anonymous

    They are busy putting their apartment on Commerce St. up for rent. Now, does that make it illegal to serve?

  • Anonymous

    They could care for it like they do our highway rights of way – spray it with weed killer (or better yet, call it vegetation killer) that kills everything, check out 61 South.

  • Anonymous

    Plants are doing well, weeds doing better.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it does, according to the Code of the City of Natchez. And we ALL know it.

  • Anonymous

    Very disheartening… Classic Natchez/Mississippi… Waste tax payers money on a grand project, with maintenance not factored in long term. I have personally about had it with this community, and it’s total lack of civic pride… When we take 2 steps forward, we always take 10 steps backwards in other areas. I never could understand why the same inmates who are going to mow everything down could not keep the beds weeded, and plantings trimmed. Whatever happened to the sprinkler system that was used only 1 year??. There are too many places that put an emphasis on beautifying their community–but we don’t seem to fall into that category. Why should people visit a place that is resembling a gigantic ghetto?? We just can’t seem to quite get it together around here, can we?? We are a very impoverished area, so we might as well look the part… I just shake my head in disgust when I look at all the pork barrel projects around here that good money is just thrown away: The old train depot/ Natchez Trails project with demolished umbrellas in front of the Cock Of The Walk, loose boards hanging off the side of the bluff ( u have to be on the walking trail to see those)–and the list goes on and on…So, go ahead and undo what could have been a positive attribute to this diamond in the rough… Natchez is a defective stone that you can shine and shine and get an occasional glimmer, but quickly dulls again. Life is too short… I’m contemplating relocating to a place where 60% of its population is not on food stamps/ welfare, people are educated, and want what’s best for their community…

  • .Milteer.

    The original deal was for the state to pay for the greenery and the city to maintain it. You don’t need an agreement for that. It’s common sense. We didn’t have a lot of that in the prior administration.

  • Afro

    lol….move someplace where the average age isn’t 65 and most of the citizens are on constantly complaining but doing nothing positive. Educated people can display an apathetic attitude as well…so don’t understand the “educated” part. How abt Natchez turning into a big unkempt trailer park?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t understand the “educated” part??? Come on!!! You gotta be kidding me! This area is full of people who dropped out of high school and live on the government. Go visit Wal-Mart and tell me “you don’t understand”……… My next move is to a town/ city with a University. There is no “utopia”, and I am perfectly aware of that… By the way, I have lived in several other places/ states, so I have the ability to look @ issues from a different perspective. We have many positives, but the negatives are tilting the scale now…..

  • Anonymous

    I laugh everytime I look @ this article!!! Maintenance has been an issue from DAY 1!!!! It was NEVER factored in from the get go!!!!! This is a prime example whats wrong with this one horse town…. Volunteer groups? I can count on 1 hand how many times this area has been cleaned by “volunteers”. What I can’t understand is why we have jails full of thugs, that don’t have to lift a finger….. We should have some of the prettiest flower beds in the country, but GO FIGURE! I just don’t get it…. We supposedly have new industry coming to town, but between our lazy attitude toward beautification, and our night mare school system, I just wonder why anyone would relocate here… Kelly’s Kids announced they were leaving for Texas this past week, and I am contemplating doing the same thing….

  • Anonymous

    Yep, the current administration hasn’t fixed it either, and is building more of the same without a plan. This is like Obama still blaming Bush, 5 years later.