PRCUA prepares of U.S. 11 widening

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 21, 2017

The Pearl River County Utility Authority Board of Directors discussed several projects during Thursday afternoon’s meeting, including repairs to damaged lines in the Round Rock subdivision, providing assistance to the city of Poplarville to fix a washout and the projected cost to relocate utility lines in preparation for the widening of Highway 11.
Executive Director Ray Scott said the damage to the sewer lines in Round Rock was due to work being conducted by a contract crew boring holes to install high speed Internet and television services in the area.
The crew hit sewer mains twice earlier this month, causing $16,000 worth of repairs to be made by the Utility Authority crews, said Director of Field Operations Alan Howe. In response, the next day, Howe said he sent Utility Authority crews to the area to clearly mark the location of sewer mains to prevent further damage, at a cost of an additional $13,000.
Now, if the contractors continue to drill into sewer mains, the company could be held liable for the cost of repairs. Howe said the crews have since struck service lines, but those lines are not in the Utility Authority’s right of way.
Board members asked if there was recourse to secure reimbursement for the damage to the mains before the lines were marked. Scott said he will send a letter making that request.
Board member Billy Spiers brought a matter concerning a washout along a city street within the city of Poplarville before the other members. Apparently the damage to the street has exposed a number of utility lines, including sewer lines the Utility Authority owns. The cost to repair the damage to the street and lines is estimated to be $85,000. Spiers said the city secured $37,500 in National Resources Conservation Services funding, but is also requesting $15,000 each from the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors and the Utility Authority. He said the city intends to cover the remaining $17,500.
The Board took no action on the request, but did ask Board Attorney Heather Ladner to contact the city and work out a legal agreement.
Discussion of the work to relocate utility lines in preparation for the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s work to widen Highway 11 also took place during the meeting. Engineer Vernon Moore said the projected cost to relocate all of the waste water lines along the path of the work, which begins at Lakeshore Drive and ends at Cayten Street, is about $800,000. Of that amount, MDOT will reimburse the Utility Authority 30 percent.
Relocation of the water and natural gas lines along the stretch of the highway will be the responsibility of the city of Picayune.
Engineer Brooks Wallace suggested the Board enter into a memorandum of understanding with the city of Picayune to have all of the work conducted at the same time, with the city acting as the contractor for both parties. The Utility Authority would then reimburse the city for its share of the work.
The Board approved a motion to enter into the agreement with MDOT to receive the reimbursement. No action was taken on the suggestion to enter into an MOU with the city of Picayune at Thursday’s meeting.
The next meeting of the Board will be Aug. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in at the Neal Road treatment facility in Picayune.

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