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City reviewing proposals for sidewalk, parking upgrades near depot

City officials will review proposals from three engineering firms and select a company to prepare the design and engineering for improvements on Levee Street.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen received proposals from three companies —  Stantec, Neel-Schaffer, and Pickering Engineering of Jackson. Stantec and Neel-Schaffer have offices in Vicksburg.

The proposals were taken under advisement and will be reviewed by a committee appointed earlier by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. The committee will make a recommendation at a later date. No timeline for the decision was given.

The Levee Street project involves improving the street’s sidewalks, developing parking for the museum in the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot, and making other improvements to the street. The project is funded in part by $534,000 in Federal Transportation Alternative funds from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The Levee Street improvements are part of the plans for the city’s riverfront area to make it more appealing to tourists and residents.

One proposed design by New Orleans architects Eskew-Dumez-Ripple, which is doing the project design, envisions building two parks called east and west on either side of the depot with a bus stop and bus parking area.

A second option is turning the riverfront into a batture area of trees and vegetation. The area on the east side of Levee Street in either design option would be transformed into a natural amphitheater to take advantage of the sloping terrain from Washington Street. The proposed amphitheater would also remove some parking along Levee Street.

One major change under the plan is restricting or eliminating truck traffic along Levee Street, which is presently the major route for 18-wheel trucks moving from Interstate 20 and the Port of Vicksburg on Haining Road.

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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