Motorists driving across the Tallahatchie River bridge downtown may have noticed some difference in the appearance of the riverbanks to the south.
Mayor Tim Kent said city crews have been removing trees and cleaning the banks to make the area more attractive.
For years, the river has been considered something of an eyesore in comparison to the two parks due to the trees and uncontrolled undergrowth. However, the river is under the jurisdiction of the U. S. Corps of Engineers and it was thought in the past that the Corps would not improve the area or allow work on it.
Mayor Kent said that is no longer true.
He has received permission to clear the bank and top as long as tree stumps are not removed and nothing is done to destabilize the soil close to the river, causing erosion.
Apparently the Corps also has no interest in the large concrete control devices that look like World War II tank traps in the river, and they can be removed.
Also, when the new wastewater treatment plant north of the city is ready for use, the large pipe that runs above the river south of the Bankhead Street bridge can be removed, along with the unsightly concrete manhole structure that rise out of the ground in the river and park area.
Once the riverbank is better cleaned, Kent said he would like to see a river walk constructed beside the river in the park area.
A further goal would be to construct a weir dam across the river south of Bratton Road. A weir dam is a relatively low device designed to raise the water level upstream and an adjustable dam could help keep the water level at the downtown park at 18 inches or more, making it useable for canoeing more often.
There is no timeline for various projects since most of the work will depend on obtaining funding. However, the National Parks Service has apparently expressed interest in the area and could help.
beautify, clean up, New Albany, Tallahatchie River, Union County