Madison County supervisors form committee to oversee Reunion Parkway project

By MEGAN PHILLIPS,

The Madison County Board of Supervisors have formed a five-man committee to head the Reunion Parkway interchange project.

The committee will be in charge of choosing an environmental assessor and design engineer for the project.

“Really what we’re going to do is bring this committee together (and) select an engineer,” Madison County Engineer Dan Gaillet said.

Then the committee will discuss the project with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to ensure the project continues to run smoothly.

“We’ll get MDOT’s approval on that engineer. Once that team is brought on board, we’ll go back and sit down in front of MDOT and the Federal Highway (Administration) and say, ‘OK, What are you expecting from us at this point? How far do we need to carry this environmental (process) to satisfy your requirements that we can then move into the design phase?’ ”

After some discussion during a supervisor meeting, District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter made a motion to elect himself, District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones, County Administrator Shelton Vance, Building and Grounds County Manager Danny Lee and Gaillet for the five-person committee.

The board approved the motion with a majority vote.

“Supervisor Jones and I have been going up to meet with some of our statewide elected officials, and we’re getting lots of positive feedback on getting some funding for this bridge going over I-55, the first step of the interchange,” Baxter said.

To complete the environmental design, which Gaillet said can take between 15 and 18 months, the committee will choose an engineer on a “qualification-base only.”

Once there are firms to choose from, the committee will evaluate and rank them.

“Then we’ll pull some recommendations that we’ll carry forward to the board,” Gaillet said.

Once the chosen firm completes the environmental process, MDOT will have to approve the results.

“Then we can move to the design of it. So, we’re in the very first stages of trying to get the submission of qualifications submitted to the county.”

Gaillet added that MDOT will be more involved than is required for the project in order to save time and money for the county.

“We wanted to partner up with the FHA and MDOT and have them kind of check off on everything we’re doing… If federal money or state money shows up later, we haven’t missed some sort of step that we’ll have to go back and redo.”

It will be 2019 before the committee and the county can begin talking about the design process of the project, according to Gaillet.

               

 

 

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