By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The Kimberly-Clark access road has not officially opened yet, but that hasn’t stopped many motorists who have begun to use the route in their daily driving patterns.
Though barriers are set to block entry to the road, drivers have worn a path around them and even set them aside completely to gain access.
“People driving on it are taking a great risk if there’s a serious accident,” said Chris Dixon, an engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
The risk motorists take is that if they have a problem, their insurance carrier will not honor the policy because the road still officially belongs to the contractor and is not a public road yet. In fact, another source, who asked not to be named, has said one driver ran into one of the barriers, and the insurance company did not honor the damage claim for that very reason.
The road may be open and available to motorists soon.
Road construction was finished several weeks ago, but county engineers and contractors have been wrestling with how to correct a problem with cracking on one of the bridge spans before it is opened for regular use.
“There is shrinkage cracking on one of the spans that becomes a maintenance issue,” Dixon said. “There are several ways to fix the bridge and the contractor has recommended a way to seal the bridge.”
Dixon expects the county to approve Eutaw Construction’s recommendation, a method he says is appropriate to correct the problem.
The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Monday, and if Eutaw’s proposal is accepted, the corrective work is expected to begin right away, with several days needed after the material is applied for it to dry and cure.
The construction agreement – with approved time extensions – was to have the road completed by April.
The approximately $9 million project was proposed more than a decade ago to remove tons of truck shipping traffic to and from Kimberly-Clark’s manufacturing facilities off other heavily used county roads.
In addition to providing Kimberly-Clark with the desired shipping access, the new road opens many properties to further development, as well as a more direct access route to the interstate highway for county residents.
The road extends south from the Kimberly-Clark plant on Kendrick Road on the east side of Clear Creek to meet U.S. Highway 72.
Eutaw Construction of Aberdeen was awarded the contract in January 2010 with a low bid of $9,166,119, almost 10 percent below the state engineer’s estimate of $10,154,197.