Lone bid for city bike trail more than $200k over budget

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The sole bid for work on Vicksburg’s Wheels on the Hills bicycle trail was rejected Wednesday by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen after it came in more than $200,000 over the city’s budget for the project.

Construction Specialists LLC of Jackson on Tuesday bid $398,305.50 on the work for the proposed estimated 9.5-mile bicycle trail through Vicksburg — $283,305.50 more than the $115,000 the city has allocated for the work. After opening the bid, the board took it under advisement. It rejected the bid Wednesday afternoon on the advice of project engineer Neel-Schaffer.

The money is from a federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation with $92,000 in federal funds and a $23,000 match from the city. The grant is a reimbursement grant, which means the city pays for the work and is reimbursed through the grant.

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The city advertised for bids in November. At the time, Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said the work in the project “is striping; almost all striping. I think there’s an alternate (in the bid package) for a bike rack, depending on the money.”

All the work, he said, would be in the city’s downtown area.

The city streets to be striped include Levee Street, Clay Street, Mulberry Street, Veto Street, South Street, Adams Street, Grove Street, First North Street, Jackson Street, Cherry Street, Main Street, Farmer Street and First East Street.

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 Richardson said on March 17 would “loosely follow” the city’s downtown walking trails.

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.

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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