Preliminary, engineering work under way on two federal funded road projectsBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Work is moving forward slowly but surely on two road repaving projects on the Northside.
Last February, the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD) announced that it had allocated around $3.3 million for road projects in North Jackson.
Of the allocations, $1.86 million was going to repave North State Street from Fortification Street to Woodrow Wilson Avenue, and $1.4 million to repave Northside Drive from I-55 North to North State.
Engineering firms were hired to draw up plans for the projects last year, and both are currently in the review phases, according to Mike Monk, chief executive officer of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD).
The projects are being paid for with federal funds, distributed to the city through CMPDD.
Because federal dollars are being used, all plans must be signed off on by the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
“The Northside Drive project has received environmental approval … the engineer is working to make changes to the plans based on MDOT’s comments,” Monk said. “For the State Street project, Waggoner has been selected as the engineer and they plan to submit environmental documents later this month.
“Both … are scheduled to be obligated (bid) in fiscal year 2019.”
The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30, meaning that the projects won’t be bid out until late this fall.
Waggoner was brought on by the city last summer, for approximately $284,000.
Southern Consultants was hired for the Northside Drive project, for approximately $129,000.
The $284,000 is being paid out of CMPDD funds, while the $129,000 is coming from one-percent funds, according to previous reports in the Sun.
The grants were awarded to the city through the federal “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” or FAST Act.
The awards require a 25 percent match.
Projects call for milling and overlay both streets and bringing sidewalks and crosswalks into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Funds do not include repairing the water and sewer lines under the roadways.
North State and Northside Drive are two of the busiest thoroughfares in Northeast Jackson. Between Fortification and Woodrow Wilson, North State averages around 18,000 vehicles a day. Northside averages about 20,000 a day, MDOT traffic count maps show.
Despite being two of the busiest, the roads are also two of the worst, according to a 2013 study conducted by Stantec Consulting Services.
The consultants conducted surveys of all 2,100 lane miles of city streets using specialized equipment.
The study was authorized under former Mayor Harvey Johnson, and was designed to take the “human element” out of the city’s street rating process.
Results of the study were released early last year, and showed that large portions of the two roadways were at or near the end of their useful lives.