HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — Effective 7 p.m. Friday, the City of Hattiesburg will close Main Street between East 5th Street and East 6th Street because of public safety concerns.
City officials say the concerns regard the Mount Carmel Baptist Church property damaged during 2013 tornado.
“We’ve been working with Mount Baptist Church for well over a year and a half to come to the best decision about what to do with the city property,” said Mark Jordan, manger of the code enforcement division. “Based on those discussions, the church agrees with the City’s paramount concerns about public safety and that immediate action needs to be taken on the most severely damaged portions of the building.”
The building was declared “unsafe,” “high-risk,” “public hazard,” and an “imminent threat of collapse” by the city’s fire marshal, Stephen Mooney and building official, Steve Mitchell.
“Blocking off a main thoroughfare isn’t ideal, but it is necessary to keep our citizens safe – which remains our highest priority. This will allow us to secure the area from the immediate danger and harm,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “While allowing our team to make the best decisions regarding the future of the property and structure.”
Detour routes will be set up to help motorist travel.
Large commercial trucks need to take Highway 11 (Bouie Street) to get downtown or to Old Highway 42.