Lumumba: It will take federal, state assistance to make improvements to Jackson’s infrastructure

Mayor Lumumba is hoping national leaders will come up with a package for cities across the country
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:25 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson City crews have worked tirelessly to repair water main breaks while at the same time trying to get water flowing again for Jackson residents.

Mayor Lumumba says with all the progress being made, the city still has to deal with a crumbling infrastructure.

Mayor Lumumba said, “The challenges with infrastructure are more significant than they have ever been. That’s because we have an aging city. Not only do we have more street issues and concern in terms of our roads, but we have pipes that are described as peanut brittle. When our city employees get in the hole in order to repair the pipes, and they literally are tasked with repairing breaks that take place and in some instances they can sit back and wait for mere moments before another break occurs just yards away from where they initially tried to make the repair.”

The mayor says without federal and state assistance he does not think making the necessary upgrades will be possible.

“It is in a fragile state and we have to deal with the fragility of where our communities are, what the state of our infrastructure is and how we ensure things like safe drinking water for our residents, how do we ensure that residents don’t have sewage coming up in their yards and in their homes. All of that is on account of a decaying and aging infrastructure that we need support in handling,” said Lumumba.

Mayor Lumumba adds this is not just a problem in Jackson but nationwide and he says with the winter storm of 2021 he is hoping national leaders will see just how critical the situation is and step up.

The mayor says it could take over a billion dollars to repair and upgrade the Capital City's...
The mayor says it could take over a billion dollars to repair and upgrade the Capital City's infrastructure.(WLBT)

“That’s why there has been major discussion about a large infrastructure package in the federal government from the U.S. Congress. And I think that’s important because, you know, as much of the infrastructure, when much of the infrastructure was established through the New Deal, through a time where there was a focus and an intent and an understanding that to grow the country there needed to be an increased investment in the infrastructure of U.S. cities. Now we have come to the point where those cities have aged, that infrastructure has aged.”

Until then the mayor tells us he and his staff will continue to do whatever they can to relieve some of the pressure and struggles residents have endured for what he says has been far too long.

Thursday night the city reported 48 water main breaks that have been called in by citizens. They have confirmed 10 of those breaks. So far crews have made repairs to 30 breaks and leaks.

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