North State Street bids in line with projectionBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Low bids for the North State Street and West County Line Road projects are on par with engineer’s estimates for both projects.
Last week, Jackson city officials opened bids for the State Street project. The week before, bids were opened for West County Line Road.
Two bids were submitted for North State, one for $19,624,865 from Hemphill Construction and one for $24,439,731 from Southern Rock.
The low bid for the West County Line project was $15,429,161, from TL Wallace, according to Jackson Traffic Engineer Robert Lee.
Combined, the low bids for the two projects come out to $35,054,026.
Estimates provided by the city have ranged from $32 million to $38.5 million.
Bids do not include construction management costs.
“We’re going to evaluate the bids and make sure there are no errors, and then recommend the city accept the low bids, assuming everything (with the low bids) checks out,” Lee said.
Now that city has estimates for the work, it can determine how the projects will be funded.
Part of the funding is coming from a $19.5 million federal TIGER grant, which Jackson received in 2015.
The rest will come in the form of local dollars, including funds from the city’s one-percent infrastructure sales tax.
The one-percent oversight commission has agreed to set aside $4 million in revenues for the projects. And Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is considering using one-percent funds to leverage debt to cover the rest.
Any decision to leverage funds for debt would have to be signed off on by the commission and the city council.
Earlier this year, engineering estimates showed the State Street project would cost approximately $19 million, or $9.5 million per mile to construct.
Broken down, a little less than $2.8 million will go to mill and overlay; $6.3 million will go to water and sewer; $1.3 million will go toward green infrastructure; $1.3 million will go toward drainage improvements; $1 million will go to sidewalk upgrades; $880,000 will go to signalization; and $210,000 will go to new shelters for public transit, according to a cost estimate sheet.
Estimates also include three line items for $1.46 million each for engineering and design; construction administration and inspections; and cost overruns.
TIGER grants are competitive grants awarded annually by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
According to a copy of the 2015 Notice of Funding Availability, the agency looks for projects that “dramatically improve the status quo by providing sufficient and measurable improvements over existing conditions.”
The improvements, among other things, should focus on “economic development, safety, quality of life, (and) environmental sustainability.”
The 2015 grants were awarded to projects that provided “ladders of opportunity” that specifically targeted low-income and minority communities, the disabled and the elderly, according to the Office of the Federal Register’s Web site.
Jackson is using the TIGER funding, in part, to “implement lane reductions and construct ... pedestrian improvements and design elements to manage drainage and mitigate sanitary sewer overflows along North State Street and West County Line Road,” according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Web site.
The project includes a total reconstruction of a two-mile section stretching from Hartfield Street to Sheppard Road.
The first section will run from Hartfield to Choctaw Road, the second from Choctaw to Northside Drive, and the third from Northside to Sheppard.
From Hartfield to Choctaw, the street will be reduced to two 11 to 12-foot travel lanes, and a 10-foot multi-use path will be added, as well as a three-foot strip of greenery separating the path from a two-foot curb and gutter.
From Choctaw to Northside, there will be two 12-foot travel lanes, a 12-foot turn lane, 10-foot path and two-foot curb and gutter. The sidewalk will be separated from the street by the curb and gutter.
From Hartfield to Northside, the pathway will be on the east side of the street, engineers said.
Northside to Sheppard will be similar, but with the sidewalk on the west side of the roadway. A three-foot green strip and two-foot curb and gutter will again separate the sidewalk from traffic.
Plans were drawn up by Neel-Schaffer engineering.
County Line Road work will include realigning the intersection to meet with East County Line, and building an underpass for vehicles to cross under the railroad.