City's prolonged drainage project frustrates Gulfport residents

City's prolonged drainage project frustrates Gulfport residents
73 rain days last year have backed up numerous city construction projects, officials say. (Photo Source: WLOX)


Drainage work on a ditch behind the homes of several Gulfport residents was expected only take a few months, but a year later, the project still isn't finished.

"I kind of feel like we just kind of keep getting put on the back burner with this," said Gulfport resident Jason Yelverton.

Yelverton lives on 13th St. around the corner from Gulfport High School, and for the last year he's been missing the back of his privacy fence.

The city took down Yelverton's fence to work on the ditch behind his house. Without the fence in place, he's had to keep a closer eye on his two kids and his pet dog.

"The amount of foot traffic that we're getting back here coming through this area really does pose a security issue," Yelverton said.

Next door, Howie Morgan has the same problem, one he thought was going to be solved a long time ago.

"I was personally promised by the city engineer that this project was only 30 days away eight months ago," Morgan said.

Four months after that, last October, Morgan received an email from the city's Director of Public Works Wayne Miller saying he expected the fences to be replaced within the next couple of weeks.

Now four months later, Miller is still optimistic the fences will be back up soon.

"We've already been in contact with our fence contractor and they're just waiting for us to finish grading the road that we had to use to access the ditch and then a little bit of ditch work left," Miller said. "So hopefully within the next couple of weeks the project will be done and the fences will start to be installed."

Miller said over the last year, 73 rain days have backed up not only the 31st St. project, but also delayed other work around the city.

"We'll get rain and then just because it rains one day doesn't mean we can work the next day," Miller said. "It depends on site conditions. It may be two or three or four days before we can even get our equipment back on the site to continue the ditch work."

With the temperatures warming up, Yelverton is hopeful to see his fence back in place soon so he can start enjoying spring in the back yard with his family.

"I would think that this would be one of those easier jobs that you just kind of get done, get finished and get it out of the way," Yelverton said.

Miller said the ditch work is being done to improve drainage around Gulfport High School and since the project started drainage has been better.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.