City of Vicksburg making changes to North Washington rehab project

Published 3:08 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

Vicksburg officials and representatives with project engineer EJES Inc. have been making changes to the plans and design for the proposed project to rehabilitate North Washington Street from Jackson Street to Haining Road in an effort to reduce the project’s cost.

“We’re waiting to hear from the engineers before we go out for the construction bid,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “We took some items out. Some of the asphalt (overlay) in North Kings going past Haining Road — we took that out.”

He said a date has not been set to re-bid the project.

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The decision to revise the plans came after the board’s July 10 meeting when it received three bids — all more than the project’s projected $1.2 million budget. Submitting bids were APAC Mississippi of Jackson, $2,098,273; Construction Specialist LLC of Jackson, $2,698,865; and Central Asphalt of Vicksburg, $2,058,246.

The board on July 24 followed its engineer’s advice, rejecting the bids and announcing it will re-bid the project at a later date.

Presently, Washington Street from Haining Road to Jackson Street is a narrow, four-lane north-south road with a 45 mph speed limit. The street is bounded on the west by the Yazoo Diversion Canal and on the East by a ridge. During heavy rains, loose dirt and mud break loose from the ridge, causing slides that spill into the northbound lanes and block them.

The southbound lanes were torn up and later resurfaced during the construction of the city’s auxiliary waterline, which intersects with the main line near Jackson Street.

While the speed limit on Washington Street from Haining Road was recently reduced from 45 to 35 mph, the speed limit on Washington from Haining Road to Jackson Street remains at 45 mph.

Initial plans for the rehabilitation project included repaving North Washington Street and reducing it to two lanes with a catch basin for the mudslides.

The project also included a bicycle lane. The bike lane is part of a proposed estimated 9.5-mile bicycle trail through Vicksburg that 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 that will 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. Flaggs said the bicycle trail remains part of the project.

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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