Stripe work nears for Liberty Road

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

While the county hospital, recreation and politics have been leading most conversations lately, there are still several other important issues the public should be up to date on that I have been asked about lately. Here are a few questions that have significant impact on some citizens throughout Adams County.

When will Liberty Road get stripes?

Last September, the state began resealing the surface of Liberty Road from the city limits of Natchez to before Lagrange then from a later portion of the road to the Second Creek bridge. While these state-funded upgrades are appreciated, I acknowledge they have also caused some stress and difficulty, specifically for those that have trouble seeing at night and other times with no lines or reflectors established yet to mark the road way.

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We have been pushing to expedite this process, but the engineers continue to push the project completion back until temperatures remain above 60 degrees day and night to get the best results. Unfortunately, this means it may be early May before stripping is completed on Liberty Road. While we would like to see these state aid projects completed faster, we are grateful to the state for its assistance in allocating funds for our local roads.

Why can’t the county get Internet to more rural users?

Internet availability is an issue for a significant number of households throughout Adams County. While countywide Internet is still years away, without homeowner satellite and wireless options, we do have some good news.

I spoke with John Hilbert, regional manager for Cable One, and he has confirmed plans to extend Cable One services throughout new parts of the county, specifically U.S. 61 South. Permits are supposedly being drafted now but have yet to be issued. This expansion of services will be a welcomed sight for many who have waited years for better internet, video and phone options.

Will more county roads be impacted by the evolution of the new drilling efforts?

Let me start by saying I feel safe speaking for all supervisors when I say we welcome, we encourage, we promote and we support the efforts of new drilling technology in southwest Mississippi. The concern, which is the fault of no one, is with new drilling technology companies, which can now start drilling in one location and end up miles away.

This means the locations being used are sometimes in a location where heavy load traffic was never anticipated when roads were constructed. Therefore, we have situations like recently with Carmel Church Road, where work was done and the heavy loads of equipment and oilfield machinery absolutely destroyed parts of the road. In this case, the company responsible honored their commitment to repair the road. A huge thank you goes out to Woody Allen for assisting the county to help this transaction go smoothly.

It has been speculated that significant amounts of oil and gas are 10,000-15,000 feet below the subsurface of our area in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Now the challenge will be retrieving it.

All local counties are embracing these possibilities, but is also looking at ways to protect local roads from long term destruction. A process is underway in several counties to set up a bond holding system with companies drilling for road repairs.

This would apply to all roads where traffic would exceed posted or recommended weight limits. While we received many complaints, it’s also important to recognize that they are public roads therefore anyone legally has access to use them, just not to cause damage which makes them unsafe to other drivers.

David Carter is an Adams County supervisor.