City begins process to extend South Frontage Road

Published 11:15 am Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Jackson engineering firm has been hired by the city to start designs to relocate the city’s utilities along South Frontage Road in anticipation of its extension to the businesses on East Clay Street.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a $19,500 contract with Waggoner Engineering Inc. to prepare the design, plans and specifications for the project. Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the Mississippi Department of Transportation has signed a $386,756 contract with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. to design road and bridge plans for the expansion.

“This is the beginning of the process to relocate our utilities so that the South Frontage Road can be extended on to East Clay Street,” Board Attorney Nancy Thomas said.

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“I think we’re well on the way to try and spend the $4 million that has been approved by the Mississippi Legislature to start the project,” Flaggs said. “I think it’s a new beginning for the outlet mall and new beginning for Vicksburg. It’s been a work in progress.”

The South Frontage Road extension, which will link the Outlets at Vicksburg and other restaurants and businesses on East Clay Street and U.S. 80 to the west side of South Frontage Road, has been discussed for more than 20 years. Project plans call for an overpass over the Kansas City Southern railroad tracks to link the east and west sides.

In 2007, a Federal Highway Administration study on the project issued a “finding of no significant impact,” clearing the way for the project. Four years later, the Mississippi Department of Transportation bought five properties along the road to secure rights of way for the project, and in in April, the Legislature approved $4 million in its fiscal 2015 highway budget to begin planning the South Frontage Road expansion.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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