Commission updated on flood control

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Two major flood control projects on the Northside are taking shape.

Last week, members of Jackson’s one-percent oversight commission were briefed on the city’s various drainage control projects, most of which are in the design stages.

The board met on August 9, about a month after heavy rains caused flash flooding in Belhaven, Fondren and Midtown.

In addition to getting an update on Belhaven Creek, the commission also was given status reports on two projects that would increase capacity along Eubanks Creek in Fondren.

The projects include sections of the creek running from North State Street to Eagle Avenue, and from Forest Avenue to Northside Drive.

Last summer, the city brought on Stantec Consulting Services and SOL to draw up the respective projects.

SOL was awarded a contract not to exceed to $202,000 for Forest Avenue project, while Stantec Consulting Services was awarded a contract not to exceed $387,000 to design improvements for the North State section.

At press time, designs for North State were about 60 percent complete, while planning for the Forest project was 90 percent finished, Jackson Engineering Manager Charles Williams said.  

The city is now planning to bring on a separate firm to help obtain easements for the Forest to Northside section: and, obtain federal approval so the improvements can be implemented. 

In all, about 30 temporary easements will be needed for the work, with affected homes being located along Kirkley Drive and Belle Meade Place.

The project, including easements, is expected to run around $1.4 million, Williams told the board.

It was not known when the city would begin obtaining easements, or when the project would be bid out for construction.

 

The North State to Eagle work is expected to run around $2 million and will require 27 easements along Choctaw Road and Eagle Avenue. Design work is expected to wrap up in December. 

Both projects are designed to increase drainage capacity along the creeks, so they can handle 10 to 15-year storms.

A storm that caused major flash flooding on July 10 was considered a five-year storm, according to engineers and National Weather Service officials.

 In all, the storm dumped between 2.5 to five inches of rain in the Belhaven and Fondren area in about an hour’s time. Several neighborhood streets were flooded in Belhaven as a result of the storm. Flash flooding also occurred in Midtown and in Fondren at the Rainbow Co-op.

While engineers say Belhaven and Eubanks creeks can handle five-year events, flooding in the communities was exacerbated by storm runoff caused by development upstream.