Initial paving nears completion|[04/29/08]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The first phase of downtown repaving is coming to an end as crews finish by adding faux brick crosswalks and pouring cement around manholes and valves in areas where paving has been completed, said James “Bubba” Rainer, director of public works.

“We’re done with all the paving. We’ve had some cleanup and a punch list to finish,” he said this morning.

The city hired APAC Mississippi earlier this year to complete the first phase, which included resurfacing most downtown streets, including parts of Monroe, Mulberry, South, Levee and Clay. Work, which was to cost a bit more than $1.8 million, began in February.

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“We’ll spend every bit of that by the time we’re through,” Rainer said.

On Friday, city officials approved adding to the initial phase the paving of Cain Ridge Road, originally planned to be part of the second phase.

“When we tallied the numbers, we found out we were under on the asphalt, so we had a little extra to burn,” Rainer said. “We did a change order and added Cain Ridge Road, which we’ve already started on.”

After paving along Cain Ridge and completing shoulder work along Redbone and Cain Ridge roads, crews will begin the second phase, which will include paving Drummond Street and streets in the southern portion of the city. Rainer said he expects that work to begin in 30 to 45 days. The third and final phase will include streets in the northern portion of the city.

All of the city paving will be paid for with $6.7 million earmarked from a $16.9 million bond issued in September. The balance will be used to upgrade the Oak Street corridor and replace the Washington Street bridge near Clark Street. Before paving began, the city used a $180,000 computerized management system, designed by ERES Consultants, that tracks the quality of city streets and generates a list ranking those most needing work based on existing condition and traffic load.

Rainer said the city also has plans, though separate from the bond-issued paving, to repave North Washington Street as a state-funded project. In October, the city received a $1.3 million bid from APAC Mississippi to repave along the stretch from the entrance of the Port of Vicksburg at Haining Road to the junction with U.S. 61, where heavy truck traffic has inflicted wear and tear.