With a Solar Park being built by Mississippi Power on the 16th section land within the county, Road Manager Rush Mayatt is concerned for Knox Road in District 2, which the project’s work trucks use daily. At yesterday morning’s Board of Supervisors work session, Mayatt brought this to the board’s attention. “So, there’s large chunks of asphalt from the rudding are piled in the road, which makes it unsafe for citizens traveling that road. There’s potential damage to vehicles and someone could potentially get hurt or have a wreck because of it,” said Mayatt.
With the solar project being built in Supervisor Wayman Newell’s district, he is mainly concerned for the residential vehicles that drive on Knox Road daily, along with school buses. “My concern is really on the safety of the children of Lauderdale county traveling that road. We need to look at this situation right now and try to address it, but when you look at it and you address it, they’ve still got multiple loads of heavy material they have to haul in. So, if you fix it today, it’ll be tore up that afternoon,” said Newell.
According to Mayatt, between 100 and 200 residential vehicles use the road daily, including three school buses in the morning and in the afternoon. He says he simply doesn’t have the ability to keep up the road daily while the project is taking place. “With the man power that I have, it’s not feasible for us to send a crew out there every day or multiple days a week to maintain and upkeep this road, which is going to be quite costly,” said Mayatt. “I guarantee you that after we see this rain over the weekend and have traffic on this road, especially heavy traffic, the problem is only going to get worse. It’s only going to grow because you’re allowing water to penetrate below your asphalt surface, which destroys the subgrade. So, it’s only going to get worse and worse.”
The solar project will not be finished until December, and Mayatt says he will be looking into getting assistance for fixing the road temporarily until the project is complete. There’s still nearly 1,500 loads expected to come through the road for the solar project. Mayatt claims once the project is finished, the road will have to be completely replaced, which can cost nearly one million dollars.