Drainage project bids lower than anticipated

Published 7:25 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A design change for a drainage project on Sherman Avenue could save the city more than $500,000.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday opened bids for the drainage and erosion control problem on Sherman Avenue that is expected to help correct drainage problems in the Kings Community. All of the bids were well under the $645,010 estimate for the work.

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“I was totally surprised at the bids,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “If it (the cost) stays at that, and we take the lowest bid, we’ll definitely save some money.”

The board received project bids from four contractors: Anderson Contracting LLC of Ridgeland, $176,255; Central Asphalt of Vicksburg, $127,503.75; Fordice Construction of Vicksburg, $175,087.50; and Theobald Construction Services LLC of Vicksburg, $175,562.50.

Public works director Garnet Van Norman said the difference between the project estimate and the bids was because of a change in the plans for the work.

Engineers with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he said, recommended using sheet piling, driving metal sheets into the ground and then backfilling with dirt.

“That’s very expensive,” Van Norman said. “NRCS was considering the most drastic solution.”

When engineers with Stantec, the city’s project engineer, looked at the project, they recommended using riprap, a loose stone used to line the banks of the drainage areas to prevent erosion. Using the riprap instead of the sheet pilings, he said, is less expensive.

The Sherman Avenue drainage project, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said, was one of the projects requested by the residents in the Kings community to help relieve backwater flooding problems in the area.

The cost of the project will be shared by the city and NRCS. NRCS initially approved a $495,008 grant for the work based on the $600,000 estimate. City officials believe only part of the grant will be used for the project, adding the city will have to contribute to the project cost.

Flaggs said he will ask NRCS officials if the remaining grant funds can be transferred to another project.

He said in July the city’s share will come from the $1 million in capital fund money set aside for improvements in Kings.

In another matter, the board authorized city clerk Walter Osborn to advertise for bids to bore under Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks in the Paxton Road area off Mississippi 27 for a natural gas line.

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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