Preparations underway by Utility Authority for U.S. 11 widening

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 16, 2017

Plans to relocate lines in preparation of the widening of Highway 11 are currently underway.
The widening of the highway will be conducted by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, but the responsibility to relocate utility lines in the area of work belongs to the respective agency. Previous coverage states the widening work will take place from the intersection of Hide-A-Way Lake to just before the bridge the runs across East Hobolochitto Creek. Relocation of the sewer lines is the responsibility of the Pearl River County Utility Authority, while the city will relocate water lines, said Vernon Moore, an engineer with Dungan Engineering. The local engineering firm is contracted by the city of Picayune and the Utility Authority to provide engineering work.
Moore said current estimates state the Utility Authority can expect to receive up to 29 percent reimbursement of the expense to move those lines from MDOT. The work will involve moving 3,000 feet of gravity line and 600 feet of force main.
By working with the city, Moore expects a concrete plan to be formed where the city, Utility Authority and other utility companies will hire one contractor to move all lines at the same time.
Even so, Moore was hesitant to say relocation of the lines would be complete by MDOT’s December 2017 deadline.
During discussion of the financial reports, Executive Director Ray Scott said revenue has come in $10,000 more than budgeted for the previous month at $350,000. Water usage went up by $4,000 while sewer usage went down by $7,800.
Scott said that each month about $34,000 of profit is set aside to build a reserve account in anticipation of repairs. That account currently totals $267,000.
In a separate matter, Utility Authority maintenance crews had to conduct emergency repairs to sewer lines in the Round Rock subdivision over the weekend due to damage caused by boring crews installing cable lines in the area. Scott said the cost of those repairs, $15,000, will fall on the Utility Authority because the lines were not clearly marked. To ensure that doesn’t happen again, crews have gone back to clearly mark all lines in that subdivision, Operations Director Allen Howe said.
“If they hit it now, it should be their fault,” Scott said.

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