‘Pretty bad shape’: City gets bids for Ward 1 paving projects

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Two contractors have submitted bids to pave five streets in Vicksburg’s Ward 1.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen took the bids from Central Asphalt of Vicksburg and Southern Paving LLC of Foxworth under advisement at its Monday meeting. Central Asphalt bid $273,063 while Southern submitted a bid of $170,521.

Southern’s bid brought a response from a spectator, who asked, “Where have they been?”

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The bids involve work on Lummie Street, Oak Hill Drive, Jackson Street, Beulah Cemetery and Smith Hill Road in Ward 1.

“Some of (the roads) are in pretty bad shape,” said Ward 1 Aldermen Michael Mayfield. “I know Jackson Street hasn’t been paved in 20 years or more and you have a couple of other streets on there where we’ve had to do punch-outs (work on utility lines).”

Mayfield said anytime the city deals with a street with underground utilities, streets have to be examined to see what problems exist under the pavement.

“You can ride anywhere in this city and find a street here or there that needs to be paved, but the problem you have most of all is that you have to go in and find out what’s going on under there — is your sewer system under there good? Is your waterline good? Your gas lines?” Mayfield said.

Once city workers determine which streets can be paved without extra cost, “We try to get those first.”

Mayfield said the city also plans to pave the access roads in Beulah Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. “We’ve been trying to get that on for years,” he said. “With all the work that’s been done there, we try to keep it passable.”

Mayfield said soil has sloughed off and threatened the roadbed in some areas.

“For so many years we haven’t been able to go in there and pave those streets and I think we have one or two areas where the road’s been undermined; they need to be fixed,” he said.

However, he said, the key will be fixing underlying problems. “I wouldn’t dare go in there and just lay some pavement down because it wouldn’t last. You’ve got to fix where the real problem is first. When you’re paving, you’d better make sure of what’s under that ground before you put some paving on because if not, you’ll be right back on it before you can blink an eye.”

 

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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