By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The recent notification that Corinth has been awarded a $4 million grant to address widespread drainage issues was welcome news.
Having taken office only months after the disastrous countywide flooding of May 2010, Mayor Tommy Irwin and the Board of Aldermen have since been keenly focused on projects throughout the city to reduce flooding.
This grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration of $4,090,624 is awarded from the 2012 Disaster Relief Opportunity program to support flood control and protect local businesses, said U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, in announcing the grant award. Corinth will provide a 20 percent match of more than $1 million for the proposed project.
Corinth experienced two federally declared flood disasters in a two-year period, and the city street department as well as the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District have been working on several projects in the city to clear drainage canals and reduce the chance of flooding.
Those ongoing efforts are important, because it will be a couple of years before the city sees the results of work conducted with these new grant funds.
“It will be about a year to construction,” said Matthew Estes of Cook Coggin Engineers. “It’s unfortunate, but there’s work going on the entire time. It’s just a lot of steps with federal and state government that have to be taken care of.”
The project is expected to created 40 jobs and save 107 other jobs.
The scope of the project includes improving the pipe sizes and channels in the Hickory Road-Oak Lane area northwest of Shiloh Road and Tishomingo Street-Polk Street areas northeast of Linden Street and the Kansas City Southern Railroad, Estes said.
To keep water from ponding and alleviate the existing problems, Estes said they will construct detention ponds – temporary water holding areas – to slow water flow, while also increasing drainage pipe sizes in some areas, installing pipe culverts, box culverts and ditches according to the need.
“These types of projects are slow-moving and everybody has to be patient,” he said.