Culvert worries alderman

Published 12:20 am Monday, June 1, 2009

NATCHEZ — For one Natchez Aldermen an upcoming culvert project is about more than drainage.

Aldermen Bob Pollard said he believes a failing culvert on Woodhaven Drive is a potential safety issue.

“This is about safety,” Pollard said.

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The bottom of the metal culvert, which runs the width of the road, is rusted and deteriorating.

Pollard said he recently became aware of the problem when a sinkhole above the culvert opened and part of the road collapsed.

Natchez City Engineer David Gardner said the corroded bottom of the culvert allowed water to leak into the soil around the mouth of the culvert and caused the cave-in

Pollard said he is concerned the road will continue to deteriorate and also worries the culvert will break and cause the road to cave in further.

Woodhaven Drive ends in a cul-de-sac and has only one intersecting street, the entrance to the neighborhood, at U.S. 61 South is the only way in and out of the neighborhood.

“If something happens to that road no emergency vehicles could get in or out of there,” he said.

Pollard has asked Gardner to study the fastest way to correct the problem.

Gardner said the culvert is not in immediate danger, but it needs to be replaced.

“It’s served its time,” Gardner said.

“We need a new one out there.”

Gardner said acidic soil in Adams County can erode metal and quicken the pace at which underground materials, such as culverts, need to be replaced.

Once repair work begins the work would ideally be done in two phases to keep traffic moving on the street.

“We’ll do half one day and half the next day,” he said.

The new culvert will also be coated steel meant to prevent corrosion.

Gardner said he does not know if the project will be done by city workers or if the work will be contracted, that choice will be made by the Natchez Board of Aldermen.

The project has no cost estimate or time line yet.