City widening Marblestone Road

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 1, 2008

NATCHEZ — A stopgap measure is being put in place to help out the residents of Marblestone Road.

The narrow road, which has never been the safest to traverse due to erosion and sloughing, is currently being rerouted.

Director of Public Works Eric Smith said the road right next to the bayou will diverge and form a semi-circle.

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Smith said in order to do so, 70 trees will have to be felled.

In order to complete this 30-foot-wide, 400-feet-long road, 12 inches of dirt will have to be graded, then eight inches of red clay gravel will be replaced topped off with four inches of asphalt.

Smith said the entire project will probably take about 10 days, weather pending.

This is in response to the caving off of the road into the side of the bayou.

Because the road is so narrow, typically only one car can be on it, or if two cars try to pass, going near the edge of the road can be hazardous.

Any further caving could result in a car plummeting 30 feet into the bayou.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, who has been gunning for something to be done about the road, said the project is coming at the right time.

“I was concerned about school starting, with buses traveling over that area,” she said. “But they are working, so hopefully by the time school starts and buses roll it’ll be moved over so it’ll be more secure.”

City Engineer David Gardner said the neighbors who owned the land had to sign rights of way off to the city in order for the road to be built.

“They were willing to donate the property,” he said. “It was a good cooperative effort between the city attorney, the City of Natchez Engineering Department and the landowners.”

A more permanent solution is on its way, however.

The city has received $35,000 to place rocks along the bank of the road to prevent erosion.

The design work is currently being done and this will also protect the water and sewer pipes in that area, Gardner said.