City: Plans in place to correct ‘Olympic-size’ drainage problem

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The City of Brookhaven has plans in place to deal with what an unhappy citizen has called an “Olympic-sized” drainage problem.

In July, Lipsey Street residents Randy and Maxine Jones appeared before the Board of Aldermen to bring their attention to the drainage issue on his property. He said it was “like an Olympic-sized swimming pool (draining) through a straw you get at the convenience store.”

The Joneses said they had come before five administrations over more than 20 years asking for a remedy to what he said had become “a retention pond for the City.”

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Public Works Director Keith Lewis said he had spoken with Natchez Railway about getting a larger drainage pipe installed on railroad property, underneath the railroad. But the company had not responded.

Lewis said Wednesday that he had since been able to speak with Railway representatives.

“We have talked to them. They told us to go ahead and prepare the permit,” Lewis said. “We’ve got the drawing ready to be sent in, and we’re just waiting on their approval.”

Engineer Mike McKenzie, of WGK Engineering in Brookhaven, told aldermen in their final 2023 meeting that simply replacing the 24-inch pipe with a 48-inch pipe would only worsen the problem, causing major flooding south to Congress Street. McKenzie suggested the city move ahead with the permit to replace the pipe, but begin a process of repairing the drainage further down the line.

Beginning at Brookway Boulevard, the city should work its way “backward” along the major drainage line, along Schwem Avenue and West Monticello Street behind Laird Circle, fixing any issues along the way so that the lines will be ready to handle the additional flow once the pipe below the railroad is replaced.