BY JUSTIN MINYARD
Clay County is pulling up its sleeves in preparation for a new addition to its bridge dock at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway port.
According to Clay County Grant Writer Phyllis Benson, the Clay County Board of Supervisors submitted an application to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for a Multi Modal Port grant in March. This go around, she said, would be the fourth time the county has been awarded the grant.
The county was officially awarded the $84,000 grant in July.
“When we applied for the money ... we had to be specific in the (grant) proposal,” Benson said. “We had to state what their needs were ... and how they would be corrected.”
But the county sat on the grant money for almost a year before it and Tom Soya Grain were ready to push forward with a project, which would supplement the county’s dock with an increased lifespan.
Perry Lucas, Tom Soya Grain vice president, put up a $12,000 match for the grant.
In order to increase the durability of the county’s dock located at the port, Lucas said it was time to add rubber fenders to it. When barges arrive at the port to unload cargo, Lucas said they “rub against” the pier, which slowly deteriorates the dock’s lifespan.
“The dock is held up by a single concrete pier,” Lucas said. “That pier supports the dock, as well is what the barges are pulled up against to be unloaded. To protect that pier, and to make it last longer, we want to install these (rubber) bumpers that will protect it when the barges are shoved up against it.”
Lucas said the implementation of these rubber bumpers would effectively “add life” to the dock facility.
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