Belwood levee work to begin next week

Published 11:54 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017


NATCHEZ —Work is expected to start next week on phase one levee construction at the former Belwood Country Club industrial site, if the weather cooperates Laurel-based Walter’s Construction has begun moving equipment in already. On Thursday the company’s workers were removing an old asphalt road near the railroad tracks, Adams County Engineer Jim Marlow said. The site, a portion of it running along the creek, is where phase one of the ring-levee will begin.

“They are not hauling dirt just yet, but they are getting prepared,” Marlow said. “Hopefully they will start moving dirt next week. Everything is hinged on the weather.”

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Walter’s Construction was awarded the $895.731.50 contract in March for phase one of the levee to wrap around the industrial site. The funding is via a $1.3 million grant from Delta Regional Authority in which the county’s match had been $1 million on infrastructure improvements on the location, making the phase one project worth approximately $2.3 million.

To complete the levee, a second phase of funding will be required. Supervisor President Mike Lazarus said while the budget process in Washington, D.C., is debated, in a recent discussion with DRA representatives, Lazarus understood that phase two funding was still likely.

Marlow said the project is beginning at the higher elevation end of the property for a couple reasons. One reason is because the levee height will be lower at the higher elevation, meaning the county could build more levee for its money.

The levee will begin at a height of around five to six feet and the highest it will reach in this phase of funding would be 10 feet, Marlow said. By the time crews begin work near the river during a future phase of funding, the levee will be 15 to 16 feet high, he said.

Another reason, Marlow said, is because at the lower elevation if the levee were closed in before the money is available to complete the project, the levee could wash away.

Lazarus said if you cannot keep the river out and have a pump system in place for rain water then the work would be wasted while waiting for additional funding to come through.

“That will be the last thing we do is close it in,” Lazarus said.