To get to the head end of our man-made wonder that you'll find in this part of the state, you'll have to travel past some natural beauty, like Cooper Falls in J.P. Coleman State Park on the west bank of Pickwick Lake.
Then a little farther, where Yellow Creek enters the lake, you'll notice the natural rocks lining the bank all of a sudden looks as if they had been worked by tools. And they have. This is the head end of our man-made "wonder of the world." The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. And urban legend says it is viewable from low orbiting manned space capsules, like the International Space Station.
I know the project's final price tag was almost viewable from space, two billion dollars.
The idea behind the monumental waterway was to connect the Tennessee River to the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile via the Tombigbee River by deepening and widening the channel. And there-by connecting the gulf to the Ohio River through this part of the country. With the obvious economic boom such projects would bring to some of the poorest counties in the nation in that part of Mississippi.
Titanic feats had to be accomplished. More earth was moved in digging the Tenn-Tom than was removed in digging the Panama Canal. And fully half of that amount was dug from the divide in the North East part of Mississippi that separated the two rivers. The entire town of Holcut, Mississippi which once sat atop the divide had to be moved and became extinct making room for the waterway.
Critics have maintained the waterway never lived up to its promised potential. But the waterway has helped keep the timber industry busy with ports like the ones at Fulton loading wood chips for domestic use or lumber headed for Asia. And there's recreation in places that would have never had the recreation industry any other way.
So from the time the idea for the project was first conceived of and then seriously considered through the passage of the bits and pieces of legislation over the decades that studied it, and then started it, and then kept it afloat, until the waterway was completed and the first barge traveled up it in 1985, the Tenn-Tom had probably been on peoples minds and drawing boards and finally in the ground as a reality longer than any other single government project.
And looking at it, it is a monument to 20th Century ingenuity. Making the most of it will be a monument to 21st century imagination and industry.
Friday, May 24 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:04:01 GMT
Friday morning, Paul Williams told viewers it would be beautiful, summerlike Mississippi day. That was his last forecast for WLBT. Paul is leaving to become the Chief Meteorologist at the ABC affiliateMore >>
Friday morning, Paul Williams told viewers it would be beautiful, summerlike Mississippi day. That was his last forecast for WLBT. Paul is leaving to become the Chief Meteorologist at the ABC affiliate in Memphis.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:30:42 GMT
Yesterday we first told you about two parents of Boyd Elementary school students, who say their children were sexually assaulted by another student. The parents were furious that no action had been takenMore >>
Thursday we first told you about two parents of Boyd Elementary school students, who say their children were sexually assaulted by another student. The parents were furious that no action had been taken on their cases. Today more parents are speaking out about their children also falling victims.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:09 GMT
A wreck involving a Hinds County Deputy happened on Highway 80 in Brandon, Friday afternoon. The female deputy's cruiser collided with another car. The front bumper of the cruiser was barely hangingMore >>
A wreck involving a Hinds County Deputy happened on Highway 80 in Brandon, Friday afternoon. The female deputy's cruiser collided with another car.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:19 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:19:22 GMT
A Vicksburg man was killed in a one vehicle accident on I-20 in Warren County Friday afternoon.Forty-nine-year-old Johnny Johnson was traveling westbound when he lost control of his 2004 Chevrolet at mileMore >>
A Vicksburg man was killed in a one vehicle accident on I-20 in Warren County Friday afternoon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:33 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:33:13 GMT
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick. Crump's attorney Warren Martin says Patrick yelled racial slurs when walking out of the store.More >>
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick has sparked after both parties claim they were the victim in a fight at an Edwards gas station. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:22 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:22:29 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
A capital murder case defendant, known for his abrasive outbursts and odd behavior in court, entered court Friday morning with a limp. James Hutto told Judge Bill Gowan that he needed to be excused for the day because the shackles on his legs had been irritating his skin. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:44:25 GMT
TAMPA, FL (WTSP/CNN) – Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction. Police found 66-year-old James Hopkins living on the property that belonged to someone else. TheyMore >>
Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction.More >>
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