City of Vicksburg gets new set of bids for Washington Street work

Published 2:08 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. believes work could soon begin on the rehabilitation of North Washington Street after the Board of Mayor and Aldermen received a new set of bids for the project.

Three contractors submitted bids for the project with Jackson-based APEC of Mississippi bidding $1,340,492; Central Asphalt of Vicksburg bidding $1,388, 543 and A J Construction of Madison, $1,222,747. The bids were taken under advisement. The project budget is estimated at more than $1.2 million.

“I think (the bids) are in our reach,” Flaggs said. “One of them is under. The ones that are over, I think we can find the money to do the deal. I think we’re in good shape, especially when all of the money can come out of the infrastructure loan.”

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The board in 2021 borrowed $11 million for capital improvements. The $11 million is being paid off using revenue from the city’s share of state sales tax on purchases made through the Internet.

City officials and representatives with project engineer EJES Inc. met in August to make changes in 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 after the initial bids for the project came in $1 million or more over the project’s budget. The bids were later rejected.

Flaggs said most of the problems involved proposed work on Haining Road, adding, “I think we can do some other things later. I think we overestimated and we are where we want to be now.

“The whole idea is to clean up that quarter going up from the Klondyke to Haining Road,” he said.

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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