Grant to repave part of Eastover Drive
a small stretch of Eastover Drive will soon be repaved, thanks to the efforts of two Northside developers.
Ted Duckworth and Breck Hines, the developers of the District at Eastover, have been awarded a $106,650 grant, which they will use to overlay Eastover from the I-55 North frontage road to Northeast Drive.
“We got a grant from the state three or four years ago. Now that the city is not paving the street, we’ll use it for paving as much of Eastover as we can,” Duckworth said.
The developers would like to see Jackson allocate one-percent dollars to continue the paving project at least to Ridgewood Road.
The grant was awarded by the Mississippi Development Authority (DFA). The funding came from the state’s Development Infrastructure Grant (program).
Once builders are awarded the grant, the funds go to the local government, which then spends it on behalf of the developers.
Funds cannot be used on private developments, but rather are designed to make improvements to the public infrastructure surrounding those developments.
The maximum amount awarded is $150,000, according to the state’s Web site. District developers have offered to cover any engineering and administrative costs related to the repaving, if the city agrees to pave the rest of Eastover Drive to Ridgewood.
No local match is needed, Hines said.
Duckworth and Hines chose to repave Eastover, in part, to restore the street after the installation of a new water main.
Work recently wrapped up on the Eastover Drive Water Main Replacement Project. The $795,000 contract included installing a 12-inch water main along the south side of the roadway between the frontage road and Ridgewood.
The project was designed by Southern Consultants, and the line was installed by Utility Constructors.
Work was approved as part of the city’s first-year infrastructure master plan. The plan governs how the city spends a special infrastructure sales tax.
The plan was signed off on in May 2015, prior to Duckworth joining the board.
As part of the original plan, the board agreed to repave Eastover once work on the main was completed. However, the two-lane roadway was never overlaid, and portions of the street and shoulder were left in disrepair after the main was installed.
“There were obvious infrastructure needs in and around the site,” Hines said.
It was not known at press time when the city would expend the grant.
It is also unknown whether the city’s one-percent commission would authorize using one-percent dollars to extend the paving work beyond Northeast.
Duckworth, a commission member, said the board could have considered funding the project at its April meeting. However, the meeting was called off by Mayor Tony Yarber, the commission’s chair.
No reason for the meeting’s cancellation was given.
Approximately 3,300 vehicles a day use Eastover, an amount that will likely increase once work on the District is complete.
The District is a roughly $125 million mixed-use project that sits at the corner of Eastover and the I-55 North frontage road.
The District will include 260 one, two and three-bedroom apartments as part of the District Lofts. The development is also home to a new BankPlus building, Marriot Residence Inn and the Baker Donelson law firm. In January, developers announced that Cantina Laredo, Results Physiotherapy, Freshii and Orangetory Fitness were expected to open this summer.
In all, the District will include around 200,000 square feet of retail, 150,000 square feet of professional space, and between 70,000 and 80,000 square feet of residential.
Developers have already made improvements to Eastover. To accommodate the expected increase in traffic, two turn lanes and new signalization were added at Eastover’s frontage road entrance.
The signal lights were expected to go online last week, Hines said.
As for the turn lanes, one turn lane was added to aid traffic turning into the District while the other was added to turn onto the frontage road, Hines explained.
The turn lanes will also have to be repaved, following the main installation project.