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Construction off of John R. Junkin for erosion project

 

NATCHEZ — New construction east of Dairy Queen may not be what it seems to John R. Junkin drivers.

What might look like site work for a new business is the construction of an access road for a city erosion project along Marin Avenue.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said a contractor is building a road for a city project.  Construction crews will be building retaining walls along Marin Avenue, which snakes behind Dairy Queen and other businesses along John R. Junkin Drive.

“Unfortunately it is not a new business,” Grennell said.

The owner of the property, Grenell said, allowed the use of the land and the construction of the road for the work, with the stipulation that the access road be permanent and not temporary.

“Hopefully the access road will make it more attractive for future development,” Grennell said.

On Wednesday, much of the dirtwork for the access road between Marin Avenue and John R. Junkin Drive had been completed. Large steel pilings for the construction of the retaining wall lay on the site.

The stabilization project is one of 13 projects to mend erosion damage through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program funding from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. NRCS paid approximately 80% of the $2.56 million price tag for the projects.

The remaining 20% of the cost, Grennell said, was paid by the city using $900,000 in funds from a BP spending bill that was passed by the Legislature last August.

The area’s loess soil — commonly known as windblown soil — is highly prone to wind and rain erosion. The national EWP program helps communities such as Natchez protect infrastructure from erosion and other damage.

Other Emergency Watershed Projects in the city include the following locations:

  • West Steir Lane
  • Roundale Street
  • Linden Drive
  • Wheeler Drive
  • Brenham Avenue
  • Pecanwood Drive
  • Woodville Drive
  • Homochitto Street
  • Cemetery Road

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