Work continues on proposed bike trail in Vicksburg

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, March 17, 2022

Work continues on the design of an estimated 9.5-mile bicycle trail through Vicksburg, while engineers continue preparing the documents to comply with issues required by the regulations of the grant helping to fund the project.

The bicycle route will follow a path from the Mississippi Welcome Center on Washington Street to its terminus at Haining Road.

The route includes a tour through Vicksburg’s downtown, which Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said will “loosely follow” the city’s downtown walking trails.

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From Haining Road, cyclists can continue to U.S. 61 North and catch the Great River Road Bike Trail that runs from Walls in DeSoto County to Tunica.

The project is funded through a $127,000 federal Transportation Alternative Program grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation with $92,000 in federal funds and a $35,000 match from the city.

The grant is a reimbursement grant, which means the city pays for the work and is reimbursed through the grant. Part of the process under the grant program requires the city to file forms involving rights of way, environmental impact on the affected area and other issues even though the route will be along city streets.

“MDOT has a lot of forms to fill out,” Richardson said, adding forms also have to be filed with the Mississippi Department of Archives and history, “anybody and everybody. We’re not purchasing right of way but we have to do one of those forms, too.”

Once the reports are filed, he said, city officials will meet with MDOT officials and Neel-Schaffer, the project engineer, and review the project. A meeting with MDOT to review the project’s plans and specifications will follow that meeting.

The process leading to the grant began about a year ago when Warren County Board of Supervisors President Kelle Barfield and business owner Linda Fondren approached the Board of Mayor and Aldermen about a bike trail through the city.

Barfield said she is optimistic about the project.

“It’s still such an exciting project,” she said. “(But) with the honor of getting grants for a project like this from MDOT comes the responsibility for paperwork in the process, which can be more than most of us prefer. I still think it’s an excellent project for their area and I can’t wait to get started, hopefully soon.”

 

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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