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County Farm Road work starts Monday

From his Mississippi Forestry Commission office, DistrictForester Wilber Shell sees many trucks and cars travel along CountyFarm Road.

“You’d be amazed at the number of vehicles that go to thesawmill and, especially this time of the year, to the bark plant,”Shell said while looking out a window of his office at the CountyFarm Road and Monticello Street intersection.

Beginning Monday, that traffic, a few school buses, and vehiclesheading to the city landfill will have to take an alternate routeas Oddee Smith crews start work on widening and overlay project.The $941,000 project was scheduled to start Thursday, but badweather and other factors delayed the work.

“It’s a complete reconstruction of the road through there,” saidJoel Smith, company president.

Smith said the project will be done in two phases.

Phase one, which starts Monday, will involve the north end ofthe road from Monticello Street to the landfill entrance. The phasewill include installation of a new box culvert.

“That will be closed for 30-60 days, depending on the weather,”Smith said.

Phase two will focus on the road from Highway 84 to the landfillentrance. Bridge work is also scheduled for that area.

“The dividing point will be the landfill entrance,” Smithsaid.

Depending on the project phase, Smith said vehicles trying toget to and from County Farm Road businesses will have access viathe other end of the road.

“We’re doing it in phases to accommodate and work with thebusinesses and try to disrupt them very little,” Smith said.

Shell also mentioned that the forestry office is used as avoting place.

Party primaries are scheduled for Aug. 5. The project schedulecalls for work to be done on the southern portion of the road atthat time.

Smith said he hopes to have the project completed by the end ofthe summer. The contract calls for the road to be completed in 130working days.

Shell was looking forward to having a good State Aid road infront of the office. Getting there will mean a littleinconvenience.

“It won’t bother us all that much,” Shell said.

Officials said the new surface will be wider, which will improvesafety and better accommodate the traffic load on the road.

“It’s long been needed,” said Nolan Earl Williamson, District 3supervisor and president of the board. “It’s going to be atremendous help.”

A new County Farm Road is a long-time goal of the late District1 Supervisor Cliff Givens. His wife Vedia, who was appointedsupervisor following his death, and Williamson are glad to see theroad coming about.

“It was his last project,” Williamson said.

Givens said motorists and the county would reap benefits of thebetter road.

“It’s going to be a mess, but it’s going to be great when it’sdone,” she said.