City board OKs bid for work on Washington

Published 11:29 pm Friday, June 22, 2012

Work should begin soon on repairs to Washington Street south of the Washington Street bridge.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday authorized Mayor Paul Winfield to sign the contract with American Field Service of Madison, giving the company to go-ahead to start repairs.

The vote was 2-0 with South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman abstaining. Beauman said he did not know enough about the contractor. Beauman voted to award the project to American Field Service on June 7.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

No starting date was given in the contract, but Saradhi Balla of IMS Engineers, the project engineer for the repairs, said the work could begin shortly.

“The contractor could begin immediately if they want to, but they will probably meet with the city and set a date to begin,” he said.

According to the contract, American Field Service has 45 days to complete the repairs. Balla said June 7 that Washington Street will not be closed during the repairs.

American Field Service’s $203,536 bid was the lowest of three for the project, which involves replacing 10 paved panels on the street and repairing the roadbed, and bracing nearby retaining wall with about 30 anchors to keep it from moving.

The board declared an emergency Feb. 28 and restricted traffic on Washington Street south of the bridge after a city crew repairing a water leak near the retaining wall saw it move as heavy trucks went by. City workers also discovered a gap between the wall and the slope.

When the emergency was declared, the board ordered that vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds, which included tractor-trailer rigs, log trucks, school buses and large emergency vehicles, be detoured.

The board on April 26 transferred $265,000 from the city’s recreation department to the street department to pay for the repairs.

The problem with the street was discovered shortly after the new bridge, which had been closed for three years for construction, was reopened to traffic. City officials have said the problem with the wall, which was built in 1929 when the bridge was built or the early 1930s, is not related to the bridge.

The Washington Street bridge was closed in 2009 while Kansas City Southern Railway and Kanza Construction Co. of Topeka, Kan., replaced the bridge with a concrete bridge atop a railroad tunnel.