Mother nature delays construction of public boat ramp

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

FORT ADAMS&045;A public boat ramp project on the Mississippi River north of Ft. Adams has been delayed for nearly a year now by forces of nature, according to Second District Supervisor Kirk Smith.

&uot;The water is over the road right now.

We are waiting for the river to fall, and then everything is set to go,&uot; Smith said Wednesday.

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In July, the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors entered an agreement with the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, who will build the concrete ramp through the Federal Aid Boat Ramp Program.

Landowner Ivan Morris agreed to lease the county approximately four acres of land for the facility at Loch Leven, 10 miles north of Fort Adams on the Jackson Point Road. Under the agreement with DWFP, the county will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the facility, which will include access roads and onsite restrooms.

The DWFP has built over 150 public boat ramps on waterways throughout the state since the federal program began in 1985.

Costs are split 75-25 between the DWFP and local governments.

Counties usually meet their obligations by performing in kind work on the projects, such as clearing timber or moving dirt and gravel.

&uot;We’ve got it (the site) all pushed off and


We’re just waiting for it to dry up so the DWFP can pour the slab,&uot; said Smith.

Since Fort Adams and the Jackson Point Road frequently flood, DWFP officials wanted to build the ramp during the early fall when the river is usually at its lowest levels.

However, the hurricane season produced 14.7 inches of rain locally in October, delaying work on the project.

&uot;It’s just been too wet to do anything,&uot; Smith said.

According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River was predicted to crest in Natchez this week at 48.9 feet, after which a slow fall is forecast.