The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) has taken the first steps to relocate the Spillway Road.
Recently, the district received aid and drafted a construction contract for the Bob Anthony Parkway relocation project. They also received the terms of agreement for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant.
They received half a million dollars in bonds from the 2020 legislative session. That money is part of an agreement the state made with the district to match at least 25 percent of the $2.8 million FHWA grant.
The bulk of the money pay for the plans and the construction to relocate the parkway—a delicate procedure.
“We want to get the project lined up, get the layout of the project where it needs to go, and study the environmental impact,” said PRVWSD Director John Sigman.
The main environmental concerns are over two endangered species—Ringed Map Turtles and Atlantic Sturgeons.
Currently, the district has completed the preliminary plans. Now they must send them to Mississippi Department of Transportation for approval. Once the plans are approved, they can bid out the construction contract—which they have just finished drafting.
“This road will serve several purposes,” Sigman said. One of which is allowing for 18-wheeler traffic through the area.
Currently, commercial vehicles more than one ton are prohibited on the parkway. This results in vehicles taking an 18-mile detour to travel to the other side of the dam.
The new road would be able to support 18-wheeler traffic.
Sigman said it would also help relieve rush hour traffic that accumulates on the parkway at peak hours.
The average daily traffic counts within the project corridor currently clock in around 30,000, with a projection of approximately 40,000 in 2030.
The district also received extra money from the state—around $150,000.
“That money will go towards matching a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) grant to study high hazard dams.”