City of Vicksburg awards park improvements project to Fordice Construction

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022

Vicksburg contractor Fordice Construction will install improvements to Washington Street Park.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday accepted Fordice’s bid of $165,450, which was the lowest of three bids submitted Monday for the project.

Plans for the improvements include upgrading the park’s electrical system, installing an awning over the park’s stage and adding extra lighting by benches in the rear of the park and along the sidewalk facing Washington Street.

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The bid specifications included an alternate, or extra bid item, for a Jumbotron screen but the board decided not to include it. Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the city would conduct traffic studies to determine the best place to put the big screen.

Other bidders besides Fordice included: Construction Specialists, $192,000; and J E Stevens of Flowood, $239,000.

Fordice developed Washington Street Park in 2019 at a cost of $146,538. Located at the corner of Jackson and Washington streets, the park serves as the site for the Vicksburg Farmers Market, Christmas in the Park and other events.

In 2021, Ridgeland developer MidSouth Companies LLC saw the park and property on Mulberry Street near the Vicksburg Convention Center as potential sites for condominium developments.

The board in February 2021 approved a resolution declaring the Washington Street Park property and the property adjacent to the Vicksburg Convention Center as surplus property and set a closing date of 30 to 45 days later.

After seeking several extensions, MidSouth dropped the projects in January.

• In another matter Monday, the board took under advisement bids for a riverfront project to build a pedestrian rail crossing and perform site and utility improvements in the area between the Old Depot Museum and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers model of the lower Mississippi River.

Construction Specialists of Jackson bid $1.082 million, while Central Asphalt of Vicksburg bid $728,630 and Hemphill Construction Co. of Florence, $1.146 million.

The construction site is near the proposed docking facility for Viking Cruise Lines, which is leasing a 600-foot section of Vicksburg’s riverfront along the Yazoo Diversion Canal to build a facility for its cruise boats.

Viking USA LLC in November applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a dock at the Vicksburg riverfront on the Yazoo River Diversion Canal. It is presently leasing dock space from American Cruise Lines.

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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