New WM drainage system weathers the storm

New WM drainage system weathers the storm

No reports of flooding after heavy rains in late December

West Memphis City Engineer Amanda Hicks received high praise as she delivered her January progress report to the city’s Public Works Commission last week. Commissioners applauded the results of drainage improvements for the Foxwood and Westwood neighborhoods.

City Council members told Hicks they had received positive feedback from citizens about how fast rainwater was running off in the southwest part of the city. There were no reports of house flooding with the heavy rains around Christmastime.

Councilman James Pulliaum reported high public opinion of the drainage basins south of Faulk Elementary School.

“They are a big hit,” said Pulliaum. “Some people were skeptical at first and even complained. Now they’ve seen it handle a lot of water quickly.”

The city engineer said most of the pumps along the ditches helped move the water through, but are in need of repairs.

“We have issues where the motor part is running fine but the pump part is airlocked,” said Hicks. “Another part is grounding — some of the wiring in the ground was not originally put in conduit. We are wait- ing for the ground to dry out so we can dig it up and put it into conduit.”

Also included in Hicks’s report:

• Hicks said the South Loop extension on the southeast end of the city is under review by state highway engineers.

• An environmental impact review was underway for a replacement bridge on Lehr Street with work tentatively scheduled for 2019.

• The bridge over Fifteen Mile Bayou on Hino Boulevard is all but set for an overhaul. Missing rightof- way documents issues have set the bridge improvement project back by almost a full year.

“We open bids for the Hino bridge construction on the 17th of January,” said Hicks. “

By John Rech