Council approves plans to improve two bridges by Eastover foundation

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Plans to beautify the Eastover neighborhood are moving forward following a vote by the Jackson City Council.

The council recently approved entering into an agreement with the Greater Eastover Neighborhood Foundation (GENF) to allow the neighborhood to improve two public bridges in the neighborhood.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a while,” GENF Executive Director Dana Robertson said. “We’ve had the concept in mind for several years, but we didn’t pursue it with the city until shortly after the first of the year.”

The bridge improvements are part of a “multiphase plan to improve the appearance of the neighborhood’s entrances and visible intersections, Robertson said.

“Enhancing the appearance of the neighborhood bridges is part of working toward that goal,” she said.

Structures included in the agreement are the bridge at Eastover Drive and Twin Lakes Circle and at Lake Circle and Boxwood drives.

Plans include replacing the current railing with brick and iron, using the same style brick cladding used on columns at the subdivision’s main entrances.

As part of the agreement, Eastover must pay for the installation and maintenance of the enhancements, and maintain a liability insurance policy to cover any damaged caused as a result of them.

The city will not incur any costs, and no underground utilities will be impacted by the project, Engineering Manager Charles Williams told the council.

“The MOU (memorandum of understanding) spells out that the city is granting (Eastover) the ability to install aesthetics at their cost, because they want to improve their neighborhood,” he said.  

The project is expected to get under way this summer. “We hope to have the contractor in place this month, and start construction in September” Robertson said.

Construction will take several weeks to complete, and will likely mean that traffic will be temporarily reduced to one lane along the bridges, she said.

The designs were drawn up by JBHM Architects.

The council approved the measure on a 5-1 vote. The lone holdout was Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes, who was upset because neighbors in his ward didn’t have the money to make the same kind of improvements.

Ward Four Councilman De’Keither Stamps asked what would happen to railings that are currently along the bridges. He said guard rails are needed near Raines Elementary, along Flag Chapel Road.

He said there’s an 18-inch drop off that must be blocked off before the county will repave the street there.

 

 

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