Eight road projects included in master plan

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Eight roads have been tapped for repair as part of the “Capitol Complex Improvement District’ master plan.

The plan was released recently and maps out infrastructure needs in the CCID. 

The district takes in a large swath of Jackson, including parts of the Northside. The Mississippi Legislature created the district in 2017 and agreed to fund infrastructure improvements within it to help offset the city’s costs for providing services to state-owned and other tax-exempt properties.

Streets included in the plan are High Street, Lamar Street, Museum Boulevard, President Street, Mississippi Street, North State Street, East Capital Street and North Street.

Work will include repaving roads and repairing/replacing the water and sewer infrastructure underneath, if needed. Estimates for all projects total $17.2 million.

The plan is being administered by the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

DFA Executive Director Laura Jackson would like to see work get under way as soon as possible but said construction likely won’t begin until early next year.

“We’re hoping to have a project rolling in November, but realistically it will be January for construction,” she said.

DFA plans to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for design professionals this month, and will open responses in May, Jackson said.

Firms from across the state are allowed to submit qualifications. “When we get those back, we’ll have to make a decision – whether we want to interview all of the professionals or short-list them,” the director explained. “We expect those interviews will happen around the first week or two of June.”

Those chosen will have several months to design and scope projects, and from there, the work will be bid out.

“We’ll pick contractors (based on) lowest and best bid,” she said.

The plan was drawn up by Waggoner Engineering, AJA Consultants and Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons, with input from DFA, the city of Jackson and the CCID advisory panel.

“DFA has been involved in the development of the plan since day one,” Jackson said. “We even had (two staffers) in on the rating and scoring of the projects.”

The plan outlines how projects were prioritized and the scoring criteria for choosing the initial round of work.

Ratings were given based, in part, on their proximity and access to state facilities, immediate impact, stakeholder priority, economic and community impact, condition and funding source, public health and safety, or whether other entities can fund or partially fund the project.

In other words, work that could be funded partially with CCID funds and one-percent dollars would rank higher than projects that would have to be funded entirely with CCID funds.

Projects that serve state-owned facilities, like the Mississippi Capitol Building, or provides access to parks and amenities also would receive higher ratings than streets, water lines and sewer lines that do not.

Rating criteria also takes into account the number of people a particular project would serve, whether or not the project would be shovel-ready, and whether it was a priority with DFA, the city, advisory panel or other stakeholders.

 

Engineers reviewed numerous infrastructure plans drawn up by the city over the past several years, as well as did current visual assessments of the CCID’s needs, Jackson said.

“This has been a very collaborative effort, with many different stakeholders,” Jackson said, adding that she’s worked closely with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and his administration throughout the process.

“It will take both of us to make sure it’s successful.”

North to south, the district runs from Meadowbrook Road to Hooker Street and from Jackson State University in the west to the Pearl River and the LeFleur Museum District in the east.

Improvements in the district are being paid for with a special allocation coming from sales tax revenues generated in the capital city.

A copy of the 71-page document can be found at northsidesun.com.

 

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