State repairs to Yokohama Blvd. coming soon

DTL Staff

Safety repairs to bridges on Yokohama Boulevard near Highway 45 Alternate will start soon.

The state is paying for the repairs that will smooth out violent humps from where the bridges and roadway settled. The humps caused severe jarring for cars and trucks, especially if motorists weren’t expecting them.

Clay County supervisors awarded the $293,699.40 contract Monday to Falcon Contracting, which offered the lowest of three bids for the state project.

Yokohama Boulevard, which was completed in 2015 to connect the sprawling tire plant campus with Highway 45 Alternate, includes three bridges that go over railroad tracks, drainage areas and North Eshman Avenue about a half mile east of Highway 45 Alternate.

The bridges settled more than the pavement, leaving jolting humps where pavement and concrete meet.

District 1 Supervisor Lynn Horton has applied cold mix asphalt to improve the situation, but the state, which paid for the road, is paying for the more-permanent repairs to improve safety.

In other business Monday, supervisors:

- Authorized Sheriff Eddie Scott to send Inmate Calling Solutions a letter asking the company to let the county out of its contract. Inmate Calling provides the services that allow inmates to make phone calls. The county gets 61.5 percent of the revenue from the calls. The company also provides the paperwork for other inmate commissary and canteen services.

The county is not meeting its revenue projections from the service and would like to pursue other offers. That includes linking the services with the new Justice Center to provide video arraignments and court appearances and other services.

— Asked the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to clean out drainage ditches along the railroad spur that serves Yokohama. The property along the spur is owned by the Clay County Economic Development District and up until late last year, had been leased to Fisher Farms for agriculture purposes. But EDD board members decided farming the property was contributing to erosion that threatened the stability of the track, washing silt into the drainage ditches. That in turn backed up water which began to eat away at the rail foundation. The EDD made emergency repairs last March and is planning permanent repairs this spring when drier weather arrives. The county hopes TRVWMD can do most of those repairs. County Engineer Bob Calvert has been monitoring the drainage regularly in case problems arise again. So far, the erosion has not threatened the tracks this year, but the ditches “are slap filled up,” Calvert told supervisors. Not having the adjacent property plowed this year in anticipation of planting has helped avoid some of the erosion problems, Calvert noted.