Drainage Project Underway: Sumrall’s Oaks neighborhood to see work for about two months

By HASKEL BURNS,

A long-awaited drainage improvement project in The Oaks neighborhood in Sumrall will provide relief for a few residents on West Spanish Oaks, who have been experiencing flooding problems from stormwater running from elsewhere in the subdivision.

Workers are expected to begin this week installing new 42-inch arch pipe in the cul-de-sac at the end of West Spanish Oaks, allowing a bulkhead to divert the water running from East Spanish Oaks and The Oaks Drive.

“We have water sometimes (two feet) deep in this neighborhood,” Mayor Heath Sumrall said. “They said kids have taken trash can lids and ridden them from that end of the street down to this end of the street, so it’s terrible.”

The work is expected to be completed within 60 days of the project’s start.

Sumrall said the project was started by the previous administration, but because of a matter of controversy, the project stalled. The city bid on the project before the neighborhood’s developer came up with a plan to build a retaining pond to divert the water.

“Well, that didn’t work out, and the time frame passed and prices went up, so we had to re-bid it again,” Sumrall said. “They came back with a high bid and I didn’t like that because it was way too high, and the engineers concurred.

“That included moving a water line and paving, but we can pave it cheaper than a contractor can, and we can move a water line with public works. So we took that out and re-bid it, and it came back with a high but decent price, so we had to accept that and move on.”

Sumrall said he has distributed flyers throughout the neighborhood to make residents aware of the work, although water and other services should not be disrupted during any part of the project.

“They’ve been waiting on it forever,” Sumrall said. “The only thing that’s going to be interrupted is traffic, but we’ve talked to (the homeowners) and made arrangements.

“So once the contractors open this road up in the morning, they’ll tell the people about it. Then they have to cover it back up before the end of the day, regardless of whether the culverts are in it or not. If they don’t get all the culverts in that day, they’ve got to dig it back up the next day to put the culverts in – they’ve got to keep the streets open for traffic and emergency situations.”

PREP SPORTS: