Soil slides damage Martin Luther King Jr. Road

Published 1:39 am Thursday, February 9, 2017


NATCHEZ — Adams County supervisors are seeking emergency funds for a pair of soil slides near Martin Luther King Jr. Road approaching Anna’s Bottom.

Interim County Engineer Jim Marlow said Wednesday he recommends the county make Martin Luther King Jr. Road one lane where the two 30- to 40-feet deep erosion slides are. Marlow said the two slides, which have been caused by drainage, are approximately half a mile apart.

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“We want people to be safe,” Marlow said. “As a precaution, we need to go to one lane. It is something that needs to be watched carefully — I wouldn’t want any trucks with heavy loads close to that edge.”

Marlow said trucks are most active on the road during harvest when the cotton gin is utilized.

Marlow estimated the cost to repair one of the sites would be approximately $125,000 and for the other location, $175,000 to $200,000.

To fix the problem, Marlow said some type of retaining wall would have to be built or installing a geogrid to reinforce the soil.

All of the county’s state aid funds for roads have been obligated for this term, Marlow said, so the county is seeking Emergency Watershed Protection program funds.

Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said Wednesday the project is already approved, but up to two years often pass before counties receive the money.

Lazarus said letters have been sent to request that this project be moved to the top of the list for funding. Lazarus said the letters were sent at the end of January.

“These locations have deteriorated to the point where it can’t wait two years,” Lazarus said. “Two to three years from now, the road will be gone.”

A team will come check the locations and deem whether or not the project would count as an emergency, Lazarus said.

If the program is deemed an emergency, Lazarus said the funding could come as quickly as a few days later.

On Wednesday, District 4 Supervisor Ricky Gray said the county had not received word about funding. Gray said the slide is a major problem.

Gray suggested the county might have to temporarily move the road in that section if the EWP project does not come in swiftly enough.

“All of this rain recently hasn’t done the road any good,” Gray said. “It’s a serious situation.”

Marlow said moving the road would cost approximately $50,000.

“It would only be a temporary fix,” Marlow said. “If you do the road relocation there, you are still going to have to address the problem of the drainage.”

Lazarus said Gray and District 3 Supervisor Angela Hutchins would be going to Washington, D.C., in the near future, and he said getting these EWP emergency funds needed to be a priority.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Gray said the road had not been converted to a one-lane, but he urged people traveling the road to be careful.

“I don’t want anybody to travel on that side of the road — it may endanger your life,” he said.

Lazarus said a road can become one-lane or even be closed by the order of a district supervisor. Road Manager Robbie Dollar can also bring the recommendation to the entire board for approval, Lazarus said.

Gray said he believes the county is on the unit system and it takes three supervisors to make the decision. If it is his decision, Gray said he would make the call.

“I will talk to the road manager and the (interim) county engineer about what is best for that road,” Gray said. “I will meet with them in the morning and we will make a decision.”