West Hattiesburg growing as new construction gets underwayBy BUSTER WOLFE,
Signs, flags and pipes are settling in West Hattiesburg as some projected construction is taking hold, while earlier building jobs are underway.
Signs signifying proposed construction along U.S. Hwy. 98 near Hegwood Road are showing the anticipated arrival of a B-Kwik Food Mart at the corner of U.S. 98 and Hegwood, while a First Bank location is farther west of the intersection.
B-Kwik Food Marts are owned by Buffalo Services of McComb, which has more than 150 employees across Southwest Mississippi. There are 14 convenience stores located from Natchez to Columbia.
First Bank, which has two branches in Hattiesburg, also has 14 locations throughout Southwest Mississippi. One location listed on Veterans Boulevard in McComb is an ATM at a B-Kwik Food Mart.
Other signs of construction work are pipes and hydrants stacked on the northwestern corner of the intersection of Lincoln Road Extended and Oak Grove Road. Hattiesburg Engineering Department Director Lamar Rutland said the equipment is included in a COMSWIP project.
“We are replacing some major lines in that area,” he said. COMSWIP is the Community Sewer and Water Improvement Program that is in place at several Hattiesburg locations.
Another sign of activity is the placement of yellow, blue and red marking flags in the ditches along Oak Grove and in other West Hattiesburg areas. Rutland said he does not why the markers were placed in those locations.
“Typically what that is is someone called in a ‘locate’ to locate utilities in that area,” he said. “The reason for those is unknown to me.”
Courtesy Ford, which is now located 1410 W. Pine St., will be moving within the next few months to its larger U.S. Hwy. 98 location as construction continues on the facility. The 19-foot-long Ford sign now being used at the West Pine Street location will be moved to the U.S. Hwy. 98 location after the City Council approved a variance because of its size.
The proposed subdivision near Oak Grove High School has been expanded to include 170 lots. Phase I of the Westhaven subdivision is underway in a 78-acre area listed as 3237 Oak Grove Road. Lamar County Senior Planner Michael Hershman said the first phase of the subdivision was divided into 38 lots.
According to information on the Lamar County GIS website, the owner of the property is listed as Pamela Shae Barnes of Prentiss.
Commercial zoning is included adjacent to the subdivision along Oak Grove Road. Adjacent to the commercial zone and Old Hwy. 11 is the proposed construction site for Hope Church.
Land is being cleared farther east on Oak Grove Road for the Hattiesburg Chinese Christian Church, which has been meeting at Hardy Street Baptist Church. Pastor Dawson Zhang said the congregation has 78 members. Foundation work on the church is underway.
Two buildings are under construction for the new office and maintenance headquarters of the North Lamar Water Association on Oak Grove Road adjacent to the company’s water tower.
Architect Jason Landry of Landry & Lewis said the new office will handle the association’s 4,500 customers more efficiently.
“There are going to be two buildings,” he said. “The main office will be 2,200 square feet and will have a drive-up window to handle payments. The other building, which will be about 4,000 square feet, will be for maintenance and will include two parking bays for vehicles. That building will have a shop area and will also include a bathroom and shower.”