Let’s Talk About Dedeaux Road…

Emergency Repair

First, this week the City Public Works department and contractor will begin an emergency repair to culverts that run under Dedeaux Road in the vicinity of Colonial Estates subdivision and a little east of the WIC distribution center. The culverts on the north side of the road have separated and become undermined by stormwater runoff.  

Stormwater runoff has eroded the dirt away from the culverts and weakened the road base near the edge of the road. 

The dirt that forms the road as has started to wash away. So, the City is making this repair now. If the extent of the repair requires substantial work, I’ve asked the Public Works director to take into account the work that will be required for the widening of the road in the future.

The official news release states:

East and West bound lanes on Dedeaux Road between Pine Hills Drive and Jackson Street will be closed to thru traffic in order to install drain pipe. The road closure has been scheduled from May 4, 2015, thru May 8, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m daily. Jackson Street, George Street and Pine Hills Drive will be used as a detour route. All transport vehicles will be detoured to O’Neal Road and Hwy 605.
For question or further information, please contact the Public Works Department at 228-868-5740.

As with any Public Works project, the full extent of the repair required and what may be uncovered during the process are rarely initially known. The number of days of road closure may change, but we fully intend to keep the 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. schedule during the work week to minimize negatively impacting work and school rush hour traffic. 

The Widening Project – Phase I (Three Rivers Road to DeDe Drive) 

Recently, the City has been involved in ceremonies celebrating the beginning of construction of several large projects that have been in the works for many years. Projects like the widening of 28th Street and the new Lorraine Road bridge at Biloxi River are needed and very important. And with every announcement of any construction project other than Dedeaux Road, someone always asks about what’s happening on Dedeaux Road. 

The short answer is we are making progress. It’s slow, but it’s progress. It hasn’t stopped. While the Dedeaux Road Widening Project remains at the top of my priority list, let me assure you that no one working on the project has forgotten about it. The team of people the City has pulled together to focus on the project meet at least every two weeks. There are also meetings that deal with the utility companies and transportation organizations needed for approvals and funding. 

Last year, our City Engineer began holding regular meetings with all the utility companies that service our city to discuss the various city projects, including the Dedeaux Road Widening Project. Currently, our engineering team is reviewing the utility companies’ plans to relocate their utilities to the edges of the new right-of-way. There are a couple of details that the engineers continue work to resolve, and we feel as those should be resolved within a short period of time. 

Since the City is overseeing this road project and owns the impacted water and sewer lines, MDOT is allowing us to relocate those lines during the construction phase of the road. However, the natural gas lines, cable TV, power, and telephone lines must be moved prior to the bidding and letting of the construction contract. 

The engineers are reporting no issues with the gas company’s plans. The cable TV and telephone companies are dependent upon the power company moving their poles. 

All affected utility companies except the power company have stated that once they receive a notice to proceed, they will only need four months to complete their relocations. The power company stated that they will need eight months to plan, acquire materials, mobilize, and relocate their utilities. We have requested that the power company reevaluate this duration and improve upon it. 

Our engineering team still believes that if all utility companies provide a four month plan to relocate, the City should be able to put the project out for bid this fall and let the construction contract for Phase I prior to the end of the calendar year. 

This project has taken longer than any of us wish, but I am proud to say that we have gotten this far without having to file eminent domain proceedings to acquire any of the needed property. 

As we continue to proceed, I’ll keep you posted. 

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