City must move Hwy 6 gas line 11/21/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2014

City must move Hwy 6 gas line

By John Howell
The City of Batesville has received a request from the Mississippi Dept. of Transportation to have its gas line that parallels Highway 6 at the Tallahatchie River bridge moved by Nov. 1, 2015, in preparation for construction of a replacement bridge.

The bridge replacement project was expedited after MDOT in September tightened enforcement of posted weight limits on 13 bridges on Highway 6 between Batesville and Clarksdale. The enforcement drastically curtailed use of the east/west corridor by trucking, setting off a clamor for bridge replacement.

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“The bridges are going to be upgraded over the next year from where the city’s gas connection to the pipeline down there across the river, where the main comes in, from there all the way into town — it’s almost two miles — where they’re going to replace three bridges and build basically a road to the south of what’s out there now,” City Engineer Blake Mendrop said Tuesday during his report to Batesville’s mayor and aldermen.

“MDOT’s planning to let that contract within a year from now. The city has a gas line, the main, high-pressure gas coming in there; it’s going to have to be relocated.”

Mendrop’s report coincided with a letter to Mayor Jerry Autrey from MDOT District 2 Engineer James “Mitch” Turner, stating the Nov. 1 deadline for utility relocation.

“We encourage you to proceed with negotiating a utility easement with the appropriate property owner,” Turner stated in the letter sent to city officials. “This will allow you to proceed with your relocations and not be delayed due to our acquisition process,” Turner continued.

The replacement bridge will be built 125 feet south and downstream from the existing Tallahatchie River bridge, MDOT spokesman Jason Scott said. The contract for the replacement bridge construction is scheduled to be let Jan., 2016, pending right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation, Scott said.