SuperTalk Mississippi

Officials work to improve Jackson’s infrastructure

Photo Courtesy of TeleSouth Communications Inc.

After catastrophic events have closed Jackson schools and streets in the past six months, Bob Miller, Director of Public Works for the City of Jackson, hopes to change their approach for managing their infrastructure.

Miller said for a number of years, and even decades, the City of Jackson has managed its infrastructure as they’ve installed it. He said they get the benefit out of something and run it until it fails.

“That’s called a ‘run to failure approach’,” said Miller. “What that means is when it fails, it can fail at inconvenient and catastrophic times, like it did back in January during the winter.”

He said he wants to build so these assets can perform reliably and consistently at very specified service levels so that when it turns 15 degrees outside, the system doesn’t start failing around their feet.

“So with that I want to develop what’s called an ‘asset management approach’,” Miller explained. “Which is where you identify the condition of all of your assets and where the condition of that asset is compared to where the service level standards are, and then when we fail to meet the service level standards, what are the risks associated with that?”

These risks include businesses, hospitals, schools and things like that.

“My belief is that the challenge we have here in the City of Jackson is that when our infrastructure fails, it carries with it a higher than acceptable level of risks,” said Miller. “We have to have an ‘asset management approach’ that brings that level of risks back down to acceptable standards.”

Miller said when his time in Jackson is complete, he wants to leave a legacy to have a comprehensive management approach, which includes improving water, sewers, drainage and streets of Jackson.

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