Maintenance plan also needed once resurfacing of city streets is complete

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen are making a wise use of a portion of its second draw of capital improvements bond money to resurface several city streets.

The board in January made the final draw of its capital improvement bond issue approved in 2015, taking more than $9 million to deal with a list of capital improvements in the city. Of that total, $5.15 million was dedicated for paving with $4 million — $2 million each for the North and South wards — for street paving. The remaining $1.25 million will go to pave several public city parking lots.

One of the South Ward streets targeted for paving, South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour said, is Pemberton Square Boulevard, which will be paved from Halls Ferry Road to its intersection with U.S. 61 South. It’s a road that has long been in need of repair; not just the street’s surface, but the roadbed under the surface. Anyone driving the street regularly can recognize the street’s problems. There are potholes and patches, and several rough areas in the street. At one spot near the Post Office, the street has a low spot.

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And as they did with several streets in the North Ward during the first draw, city officials have said the bad areas under the street will be repaired before the paving begins.

Pemberton Square Boulevard will not be the only street paved under the second draw. North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield has released a list of 14 streets that will be resurfaced. Most of those, he said, will be partially paved, adding those streets had work done to repair or replace underground utility lines. At least three of the streets, Maxwell Street, Scenic Drive and Irene Street may be fully paved, he said.

If Vicksburg is to improve and grow, our infrastructure needs to be updated and improved, and our city streets are one of the most visible indicators of the city’s commitment to improving the area. Using bond money to repair and upgrade our city streets is a good move, but it needs to be followed up with a maintenance plan to make sure our streets do not fall in to disrepair in the future. The first thing visitors encounter when they come here is our streets. We need to make sure they get a smooth greeting.