Crews work to beat clock on sewer line project in Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 1, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Late Friday afternoon, crews from Pickett Industries of Natchez were still hard at work connecting houses to new sewer lines.

Construction of the sewer project, which is being done with a $999,849 grant the town received in late November 1998, started in early June.

But since then, crews have battled delays – including the accidental breaking of several water lines, sewer system malfunctions and, most recently, rainy weather – to replace aging sewer lines in south Ferriday.

The project will benefit about 535 households, project Foreman Huey Johnson said Friday while supervising the replacement of a sewer line along Burns Alley.

&uot;We have just six more houses to connect it to,&uot;&160;Johnson said. Those connections were scheduled to be made Saturday, but Johnson could not be reached for comment Sunday.

After the connections are made, crews will still have to repair ruts made in yards, replace fences taken down during the project and otherwise clean up their worksites, Johnson said.

As he discussed the project, an excavator digged through muddy ground to uncover the old line. &uot;We’ve lost a week of work time recently due to all this rain,&uot;&160;Johnson said, shaking his head.

Finishing the project was essential because state officials had said that, unless the sewer grant was spent by the end of March, the town could not apply for a $600,000 grant for water system improvements.

The grant would come from the Louisiana Development Block Grant program.

Mayor Pro Tem Billy Rucker said Friday that Hammett is seeking an extension to apply for the water grant.

&uot;If we don’t get that (grant), the only Plan B we’d have is to go looking for another grant,&uot;&160;Rucker said.