Infrastructure improvements: Three Sumrall projects underway

By HASKEL BURNS,

Progress is underway with three infrastructure improvement projects in Sumrall, with officials hoping the lot will be completed by the end of this year.

Probably the most notable project in the city is the realignment of Center Lane, which is being moved north of its current location to eliminate the potentially dangerous five-way intersection near the United States Post Office on Mississippi 589. Currently, City Hall Avenue, Main Street, Center Lane, Railroad Avenue and the Longleaf Trace all intersect near the United States Post Office, making for unsafe driving conditions at that site.

Although that project – which will also add nine side-shoulder parking spaces along Center Lane – is being held up a bit, officials are ready to go as soon as a small hurdle is cleared.

“It’s going to be delayed a little bit, because we’re still waiting on some cement and some drain boxes to be constructed,” Mayor Heath Sumrall said. “I talked to the engineers (earlier this week), and the company we ordered them from still has not made them, and they’ve had the order for more than a month.

“So we’re just waiting on them, and as soon as they get them done, the county is ready to come back with their equipment and finish the surface of the road. So we’re being held up by a pre-cast company now, to make those boxes.”

A second project – replacement of a water main on the side of Mississippi 589 South – began about three weeks ago and is progressing according to plan. The work, which is being conducted by contracting firm C.B. Developers, entails the installation of a 12-inch water main from the water tank on Mississippi 589 to Oloh Road, along with the addition of several fire hydrants in the area.

The project is designed to increase water pressure and volume to residents, as well as to provide improved fire protection in the area of the Magnolia Crossing subdivision.

Because the work is taking place on the side of the road, the highway has remained open to motorists.

“It’s progressing well; we haven’t had too many problems with it,” Sumrall said. “The pipe is going down, and they’re moving pretty rapidly with that. So if the weather will hold out for them for a couple more weeks, I expect they’ll have a lot of that water main complete by the end of November.”

Finally, a major drainage project on West Spanish Oaks, in the Oaks Neighborhood, is almost complete. To stem flooding problems from stormwater running from elsewhere in the neighborhood, workers began in September installing new 42-inch arch pipe in the cul-de-sac at the end of West Spanish Oaks.

That work will allow a bulkhead to divert the water running from East Spanish Oaks and The Oaks Drive.

“If the weather will hold out for (the contractor), he should be done in the next two weeks,” Sumrall said. “They’ve got all that in the ground, they’ve got the roadway repaired and opened.

“They’re just doing some cosmetic work on the bulkhead they had to build, where the drainage comes in and out. They’ll be pouring a couple of the driveways that we had to cut to move the lines, and then we’ll be ready to try to pave that road.”