Major trafficked roadway to be fixed in Poplarville

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2016

Recently, Pearl River County and the Poplarville board of Aldermen are developing a plan to fix a sinkhole in Poplarville.

It’s been almost a year since the sinkhole formed in the city, County Engineer Les Dungan said.

Located under the railroad overpass on South Main Street, the hazard is problematic to commuters who use the heavily trafficked roadway, which allows access to Poplarville’s downtown area.

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“This is very important to the city of Poplarville that we get this road fixed,” Les Dungan, county engineer, said. “There are limited places for residents to cross the railroad, so getting this road completed will allow traffic to flow quickly and, most importantly, safely.”

An old storm drainpipe developed leaks that caused the sinkhole underneath the road, Dungan said. Over time, that allowed the base of the road to enter the drainage feature, forming a void under the road, which is now settling.

Dungan said the old drainage pipe was installed in the 1930s and he predicts that most of the pipes are in a bad condition. Although the county cannot fix the miles of storm drainage pipes, they will focus on the problematic sections, Dungan said.

The county received a $175,000 grant from the state legislature to fund this project, Dungan said.

“We have to excavate and remove the old storm drain first,” Dungan said. “Then we must replace it with a new pipe that’s 24 inches in diameter and approximately 150 feet long.”

The project is open for bid throughout September and Dungan anticipates they will begin construction around the beginning of November.

The construction phase of the project has a 15-day deadline upon initiation; however, Dungan hopes to have the job completed sooner.

“We should be able to get everything done in a much shorter time than 15 days, bearing no setbacks. Again, this road is crucial for Poplarville, so we want to get in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Dungan said.

During construction, the road will be closed and detours will be established.

Because the hazard is located underneath a railroad overpass, the city was required to submit their plans to the railroad company for approval, which Dungan said was recently approved. Also, authorization was needed to allow the Poplarville mayor and city clerk to sign the agreement, which has also been completed.