June 10, 2009
Tim Pratt -
STARKVILLE -- Officials in Oktibbeha County are set to repair a deteriorating section of the Oktibbeha County Lake levee in coming weeks.
The problems exist on the back side of the levee, where a spillway flows beneath County Lake Road. The ground beside the spillway is beginning to crumble and become unstable.
"At this point, we don''t consider it dangerous, but this is something we definitely need to keep an eye on and make the repairs to so we can prevent it from getting dangerous," said Oktibbeha County District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard, who lives below the levee on Perkins Drive.
County Administrator Don Posey expects repairs to begin in the next few weeks, when the ground becomes dry enough to move in heavy equipment. The county will drill and put in new dirt and concrete to help solidify the section, he said.
County engineer Ed Springer already has drawn up plans for the project, though Posey had no cost estimate. County employees will be doing the work.
"It''s just a little dirt and a little manpower more than anything else," Posey said. "The dam is basically secure. It''s been inspected thoroughly. We just have sloughing on the back slope that we have to take care of."
County Lake Road, which spans the top of the levee, could be closed for a day or two when the repairs are taking place, Posey said.
The levee is inspected every year by the county and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Howard said the county could enact some type of preventative maintenance schedule in the near future.
The last time significant repairs were made to this portion of the levee was five or six years ago, Posey said. And Posey emphasized that people who live on the back side of the levee shouldn''t worry about a major breach.
"We don''t expect it to turn into a dangerous situation," Posey said. "It''s just something that needs to be done so we can maintain it."