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Warren County supervisors meet to discuss road repairs

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Engineer Keith O'Keefe presented his findings on the county's roads to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. (Photos by David Day)

County employed engineers have spent several weeks assessing road damage in Warren County from heavy rainstorms from Feb 10 through Feb. 18 this year. They’ve logged hundreds of man hours to make the most thorough evaluation of the county’s roads in many years.

Tuesday morning, Keith O’Keefe with Neel-Schaffer Engineering presented 140 or so pages of compiled information about the roads to the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Engineers assessed 47 sites in the county. Field reviews included both federal and state emergency management agencies because funding may be available from these groups to repair the roads.

The total amount of money needed is unknown at this point, and will be dependent on decisions made by supervisors and available reimbursements from other agencies. A lot of the damage is on roads eligible for federal or state funding.

County crews will do the work on 30 of the 47 sites with an estimated 40 workdays to complete, but O’Keefe cautioned that 40 days is in a perfect world. The other 17 jobs will need to be sent out for bids.

Redwood Road is at the top of the list. It is both the most traveled and the most expensive to repair. It also has been degrading for decades with only patchwork repairs.

Eric Morgan with the Mississippi Department of Transportation joined the meeting, and he gave a couple of options for repairing the road. He also urged the county to act quickly before federal funds are used elsewhere. Currently, county crews are working on Redwood Road.

“If we put a contractor on site we can probably complete it in 10 days, but that money would not be reimbursable,” O’Keefe said, suggesting going through the red tape may be worth the time delay or financial savings.

The conversation then shifted to how best to get the repairs done while utilizing available federal and state emergency funds.

District 3 Supervisor Shawn Jackson suggested hiring locals to staff up the county crews and fix the roads faster. “With all these people out of work because of the pandemic, what can we do to temporarily put them to work to fix the roads?” she asked.

Supervisors generally agreed the county could do that depending on which path the supervisors choose. Hiring a project manager was highlighted as a possibility.

Additional meeting time was spent to emphasize the importance of documenting every step for potential reimbursement from federal and state sources.

The supervisors will meet again on Monday, April 6, to vote on the best path to complete the projects in the most cost-effective way.

 

 

 

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Vicksburg Daily News