Vicksburg nears construction on new major water line

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Plans to improve the City of Vicksburg’s water treatment plant are continuing to move along, nearly a month after a city-wide shutdown.

On May 17th, a failure on Vicksburg’s most important water line left the entire city without water for three days.

Plans for a second equally important water line had been in the works for years, and now engineers have finally completed the design.

Once it’s approved by the Department of Health, the bidding process will begin. Mayor George Flaggs says they hope to have a bid by July 17th, so construction can start late July or early August.

The problem with the old line is that it sits below flood level. The new line will be above flood level. So, if an issue occurs during flood months, it’ll be easier access. The second line will also help prevent another city-wide outage.

“We think that’s it’s going to cost about $45 million. We have some money already appropriated for that because this was a long on-going thing with the other administration,” Mayor Flaggs said.

The water treatment plant expansion will also include upgrades to pumps and gauges.

Mayor Flaggs says these projects could raise rates in the future. But, it will hopefully prevent spending on emergencies like the recent May event. “We ran all the trucks we could run. We had all the people we could have to pump. We did what it took to do it,” Mayor Flaggs said.

He adds the May fix is going to cost between $500,000 and $600,000, but negotiations are still happening.

The new water line should be complete by March 2018.

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