City street repaving begins downtown|[02/14/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

Work has begun in earnest to repave Vicksburg streets as part of a $6 million project that will see many downtown thoroughfares resurfaced.

The first phase of the project, whose timeline stretches to late September, will also pave just less than a mile of Redbone Road from U.S. 61 South past Singing Hills Road.

APAC Mississippi workers milled pavement on a block of Main Street between Walnut and Washington streets before Tuesday’s thunderstorm and resumed work Wednesday and today. It marked the beginning of the first phase of the paving project, which was bid to APAC Mississippi for just less than $1.86 million.

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“They’re going to start milling downtown starting with Main Street, Jackson Street, Grove, China,” public works director Bubba Rainer said. The preliminary work on Phase I will cover those four streets for one block between Washington and Walnut streets. Walnut Street will follow.

Phase I will also cover parts of Monroe, Mulberry, South, Levee and Clay streets south of Washington. All of Veto Street will be paved, as will much of Cherry Street, which had been reported to be first in line for repaving.

Street closings are likely.

“They’ll probably close one block at a time,” Rainer said.

About $7.5 million is reserved for street improvements from the $16.9 million in bonds issued in September. Selection of roads for work was done by a computer system rating of their condition. The $180,000 system designed by ERES Consultants tracks paving deterioration on catalogued city streets. Just how many will be paved will depend on how far the money stretches, something officials have said they won’t know before opening sealed bids as each batch of streets is advertised.

2007 bond issue

Total Funds: $16.9 million

About $4.1 million will be used for recreation facilities in Vicksburg, funding either softball fields off Fisher Ferry Road or infrastructure on a proposed sports complex at Halls Ferry and Bazinsky fields.

About $5 million will be used to replace the Washington Street rail overpass near the DiamondJacks Casino entrance. That portion will be paid back incrementally by state and federal grants.

About $7.5 million will pay for road paving.

About $500,000 will fund landscape improvements to Oak Street.