North Ward paving bids exceed $ 1 million

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The cost of paving two major streets in the city’s North Ward, plus streets in Cedar Hill Cemetery, will run more than $1 million.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday received bids of $1.96 million from Central Asphalt of Vicksburg and $1.88 million from APAC of Mississippi, a Jackson company with an asphalt plant in Vicksburg, to resurface Mission 66 from Indiana Avenue to Sky Farm Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Jackson Street to the city limits, and roads and streets in the cemetery. The streets will be milled, which means the paving will be removed down to the roadbed, and repaved during the work.

The work is the first phase of a $4.6 million, two-phase project to pave city streets in the North and South wards, with $2.3 million allocated per ward per phase, and $1 million each set aside for the first phase.

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On Sept. 25, the board awarded a contract to Central Asphalt to pave eight streets in the South Ward for $995,850.27. No date was set to award a contract for work in the North Ward.

The streets set for paving for the North Ward is a reduced list from the nine streets initially planned for resurfacing.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said the reason was the extensive work required for Mission 66 and Martin Luther King to repair damaged roadbeds.

“That’s one of the main reasons I pushed it, because we went in and did all those utility lines, and after that, you started having real problems,” he said. “The (road) base failures really started showing. We’ve had probably 3 or 4 (road) base failures on Mission, that is one of our main thoroughfares.”

He said several new roads will be paved and others resurfaced in Cedar Hill, adding some of the roads will be widened.

“That has been a serious problem in the cemetery for years. People bought plots all the way up to the road, and in some areas, you have people who are buried almost at the edge of the road,” he said. “So the areas where you can, we will widen those streets.”

Mayfield said he was satisfied with the bids, which he said “were pretty close to being in line with what the engineers gave us. Now we have to wait and see whether we can accept the lowest bid. “Hopefully, we can start laying some pavement down. The biggest thing we’re facing now is the change in the weather. Hopefully, we don’t get caught where the rain starts setting in on us, because that will throw us off tremendously,” he said.

Street paving topped a list of capital improvements developed by city department heads in December in 2014 that at the time totaled $57 million.

That list was later pared down to $18 million. The $9.5 million is the first draw of a total $18 million bond issue approved in March that must be used within two years.

In January, the board approved a $143,500 contract with Applied Research Associates Inc. of Champaign, Ill., to do a street survey, which will be used to develop a priority list for street paving in the future.

In March, the city approved contracts with AJA Management and Technical Services of Jackson for the South Ward and Stantec in the North Ward.

“Hopefully north and south will be able to get some serious paving done,” Mayfield said.

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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