Museum to Market Trail work should get started this fall with water main repairs made

Work on the Museum to Market Trail could start as early as September, with the completion of a major water main project along the trail’s path.

In February, crews began work on a $4 million water main installation project that runs along a portion of the highly anticipated trail.

The project is expected to wrap up in September, clearing what is perhaps the last hurdle keeping the trail from getting started.

“Once it’s completed, there’s nothing standing in our way,” said Jackson attorney and trail advocate David Pharr.

The trail will run essentially from the Mississippi Farmers Market downtown to the LeFleur Museum District at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.

The district includes the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the park.

The project is being funded with a $1.1 million Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Federal Highway Administration, administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Jackson had until June 2015 to get started on the project, but was granted an extension, thanks to the efforts of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership.

Last year, Neel-Schaffer was brought on to obtain right-of-way along the trail’s path. And in October, the city council approved hiring Utility Constructors to install the 48-inch water  main.

“There shouldn’t be any major disruptions (to the project),” Pharr said. “We’re really optimistic now.”

Plans are to eventually extend the trail north past Lakeland Drive, as part of the LeFleur East Trail. 

Work on that trail is expected to get under way this summer, according to Ted Duckworth, developer of the District at Eastover.

The first leg would run from the I-55 North frontage road, along the south side of Eastover to Ridgewood Road, and south along Ridgewood to connect with the Museum to Market Trail.

“(DFA) received a half-a-million-dollar appropriation (from the state) two sessions ago,” Duckworth said.

Ironically, that project was also delayed because of a water main project.

DFA had to wait for the city to finish work on the first phase of the Eastover Drive Water Main Replacement Project.

The line runs along the south side of Eastover from the frontage road to Ridgewood. It included replacing a 10-inch water main with a 12-inch main to improve water service in the area.

The initial project was expected to cost around $1.4 million, but construction only ran around $826,000. The city closed out that project earlier this year.



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