Repaving of Clay, Wisconsin to begin this week

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 21, 2010

Milling and overlaying on Clay Street and Wisconsin Avenue — paid for via federal stimulus funds — should begin this week and be completed by the end of next month, Vicksburg Public Works Director Bubba Rainer said.

“They’ve been authorized to start, and it’s up to them to begin the work any time now,” said Rainer. “We’ve been told they’re planning on starting the milling on Clay Street Wednesday, and move on to Wisconsin Avenue once they’re done.”

APAC Mississippi was awarded a $637,605.04 bid in December by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen to repave Clay Street, from Cherry Street to Mission 66, and Wisconsin Avenue, from Interstate 20 to Bazinsky Road. The work is to be paid for with the $947,635 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds allocated to the city a year ago. APAC has not started the work, but Rainer said the city authorized the project to start on March 1. APAC’s contract identifies an April 23 completion date, said Rainer.

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“The ball is in their court now and their contract is running. It would cost them $1,000 per day for every day they run over the completion date,” Rainer said. “But the work is going to go pretty fast once it’s underway, and I think they’ll have it done by the deadline.”

No detours are expected to be caused by the projects on Clay Street or Wisconsin Avenue, he said.

“They’ll probably have flag men and just move traffic around the work area,” he said.

The entire Clay Street project will be milled and paved, while only minor milling will occur on Wisconsin Avenue before overlaying begins. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bridge project has had Wisconsin Avenue closed from Bazinsky Road to Porters Chapel Road since February. Wisconsin Avenue traffic is currently being detoured onto Bazinsky Road due to that project, which is expected to have the road closed through the middle of the summer.

“It might be a good time to do it, because a lot of the traffic is already detouring there,” said Rainer of the upcoming work on Wisconsin Avenue.

With planning, testing and engineering costs factored in, Rainer said he does not expect any stimulus funds to be left over after the work on Clay and Wisconsin is completed.

A third paving project on Indiana Avenue, from South Frontage Road to the city limits, was originally to be included in the stimulus work. However, it was dropped from the plan by the mayor and aldermen in November due to concerns about encroachment issues.

The board feared disputes over mailboxes could delay the project and jeopardize funding for all stimulus work. Instead, Rainer said the city intends to do the Indiana Avenue work with other funds at a later date. However, he added neither a timeline nor a funding source has been identified yet.

“We’ve still got a third phase of paving projects that we’re to do, and we’re still trying to decide when we’re going to turn that loose,” he said.

Three phases of citywide paving projects were identified when the city secured a $16.9 million bond in August 2007. The first and second phases, which included mostly downtown roads and many in the south ward, have been completed. APAC Mississippi did both the first and second phase work for approximately $5.2 million. The third phase is to include north ward streets primarily.

Contact Steve Sanoski at