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Corps' work on Steele Bayou project delayed due to high water

VICKSBURG — The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Vicksburg District’s work on the Steel Bayou Drainage Structure Outlet Channel Repair Project near the Mississippi Highway 465 bridge is approximately 88 percent complete.

Work was delayed because the contractor was unable to move upstream of Highway 465 to complete rock work due to high stages on the Mississippi River. Remaining efforts include stone placement upstream of the bridge and around top bank of the bridge and additional bank paving downstream. Approximately 200,000 tons of rock have been placed to date with 25,000 tons remaining to be placed. Work resumed on Nov. 1.

The work was necessary to repair a scour hole that developed downstream of the bridge. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The public is reminded that traffic will be halted while remaining work is being performed directly underneath the bridge or while barges and boats are passing underneath the bridge. There might be traffic delays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., which are expected to be no longer than 15 minutes in duration. The Mississippi Department of Transportation has placed signage along Highway 465 to alert traffic to the situation.

During the construction of the project, there will be no boating or fishing along the channel from the Steel Bayou Control Structure to the Yazoo River.

The 2,000-square-mile Yazoo Backwater Project lies in the southern part of the Delta in west-central Mississippi. It extends from just north of Vicksburg approximately 60 miles to the vicinity of Hollandale and Belzoni. It is situated between the mainline Mississippi River levee and the escarpment, which forms the eastern boundary of the Delta and is subject to backwater flooding from the Mississippi River. Four greentree reservoirs and associated pump stations were constructed by the Corps for the Yazoo Backwater mitigation. In addition, 8,800 acres of agricultural lands were purchased and reforested to offset terrestrial environmental losses from the construction of the Yazoo Backwater and Satartia area levees, completed in 1978.

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