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Rain hampers area projects

Several days filled with heavy rainfall over the last two monthshave slightly hampered construction efforts in the area, whichinclude four major projects.

Although some of the large projects, such as the new lake inFranklin County and the expansion of Highway 84, have experiencedlonger back ups than others, each has been affected by the rain insome way.

“The architects don’t anticipate it having a significant impact.They’ve lost some days, but we’re still in pretty good shape,” saidLea Barrett, assistant superintendent of the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict, about the construction project at Brookhaven HighSchool.

Since the foundation for the two wings being added to theexisting building was finished before the rains came in December,construction has continued almost as much as usual, saidBarrett.

“They’re working on structural framing now, and they’ve beenable to do a lot in the existing building,” she added.

This week’s rain, which has already amounted to around one and ahalf inches, might add a few extra delays, though.

“We know we’ve had seven (rain) days already, and this will addto it,” said Barrett, “but it probably won’t put us behind schedulebecause they planned for a few rain days.”

Construction has also stayed on schedule at the MississippiSchool of the Arts on the Whitworth campus, according to Dr. VickiBodenhamer, the school’s executive director.

“We’ve been able to continue somewhat, but there are things thatcan’t be done, of course,” said Bodenhamer.

She added that work is currently being done on the roofs ofseveral buildings and on the gutter systems.

Area construction projects that depend directly on the ground’smoisture content are suffering greatly, though.

“The progress has been kind of slow over the last month becauseof the rain. They had to take off three to four weeks,” saidHomochitto National Forest public affairs officer Mary BellLunsford about the construction of Lake Okhissa.

Since mid-November, the area has accumulated almost 11 inches ofrain, and more is expected in the next week.

Construction on Highway 84 in Franklin and Lincoln counties hasbeen severely delayed because of the rainfall, according to DarrellBroome, district engineer with the Mississippi Department ofTransportation.

“Since we’ve been doing some earth work, it’s really slowed downprogress on the project,” said Broome. “They are doing someconcrete work, but it will be a while before it dries out enoughfor them to get back to the earth work.”

Although the construction projects have all been set back insome way, officials know they can depend on summer time to bringmonths of progress.