Diamondhead embarks on first major capital project

Diamondhead embarks on first major capital project

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Diamondhead's first large scale capital improvement project is now about 70 percent complete. It's a drainage project that when finished will improve water flow around homes and businesses in the northwest corner of the city. The project will also alleviate a serious erosion problem for city hall and a nearby homeowner.

It's a project city leaders said couldn't be put off another day. The banks of the ditch that takes in water from more than 100 drainage basins in the northwest part of the city had started to cave in.

"A ditch that was eroding away over a number of years was threatening some water and sewer lines. The ditch was eroding into the neighbors property. The ditch was undermining the land coming into the parking area and actually could have undermined the foundation of city hall if it were allowed to go as it was," said Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer.

The ditch has now been redesigned and is being converted to a subsurface drainage system which leaders said will allow water to flow out of nearby areas faster than ever before.

"It's about 120 feet of concrete pipe that we're putting in. We're putting in three catch basins to catch the over-flows," explained Diamondhead Public Works Director Richard Sullivan.

A 48 inch concrete pipe will replace the old 24 inch galvanized pipe that was used to handle the water flow.

No one is more happy to see the work underway than Will Clark his backyard and fence was on the verge of being swallowed by the encroaching ditch. So Clark put out bags of concrete to stop the erosion.

"And then there was a big flood after I put in about a 100 bags and it caused a wash under my fence. So I installed another 50 bags on the front side of my fence," said Diamondhead resident Will Clark .

The mayor calls the $114,000 project a, "Win win."

"We're very fortunate we were able to roll the cost of the project into the purchase of city hall and actually reduce our monthly payment," said Mayor Schafer.

The work is expected to be finished in about a month. City leaders said the new subsurface drainage system also has environmental benefits. The concrete pipes will help prevent sediment from entering Rotten Bayou, the place where the flood waters will end up.

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