JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Work is underway on a project that promises to ease residents’ concerns about flash flooding in the Belhaven area.
Contractors began last week on the first phase of the Belhaven Creek Improvement Project, a welcome sign to neighbors who are still experience flooding during heavy storms.
“Crews are now working at Laurel Street Park,” said Public Works Director Charles Williams. “They are making preparations to rock the lower end (of the creek) near the park.”
Hemphill Construction was awarded a $2.9 million contract in October. The contract is being paid for with funds from Jackson’s one-percent infrastructure sales tax.
Work includes widening the creek to increase capacity and stabilizing creek walls to prevent erosion.
The project includes widening the creek and adding rip rap along the lower end of the channel. Farther north, crews will replace the bridge at St. Mary to allow for greater flow there and pour concrete along the creek walls to prevent erosion.
Belhaven Creek is a major drainage ditch that runs through the Belhaven Community. It serves the Belhaven Drainage Basin, which includes the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Veterans Memorial Stadium, Millsaps College, Belhaven University, and a portion of the Belhaven neighborhood.
The basin is nearly 100 percent developed, and during heavy storms, the creek is unable to handle the amount of runoff generated.
As a result, flash flooding often occurs in the neighborhood south of Riverside Drive.
The contractor has 150 days to complete the work. Williams said it should be completed by August.