Reunion Parkway preliminary plans completed; MDOT reviewing

By NIKKI ROWELL,

The Reunion Parkway project is moving forward, as the Phase A design of Reunion Phase II is complete.

Phase A design includes the roadway and bridge from Bozeman Road to Parkway East.

A project update was recently presented to the Madison County board of supervisors by Hunter Arnold with Mississippi Engineering Group. Mississippi Engineering Group was brought on in August to complete design work for the county for this project.

“We just wanted to bring each firm in to update everyone and let them know where they are and what the next steps are to move these projects forward,” said District Three Supervisor Gerald Steen.

To the west of Phase II, the Bozeman Road project is ongoing, and to the east there is Reunion Phase III.

“This project will interconnect with both of those projects,” Arnold said. The engineers for the preliminary design coordinated with County Engineer Tim Bryan and the consultants that are working on both projects on either end of Reunion Phase II.

The next step will be sending the preliminary plans over to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for approval. First, MDOT will conduct a two-week review, then a field inspection will be scheduled for a walk-through of the project.

“If there are any comments at that point, those comments will then be addressed which should take about two to three weeks,” Arnold said.

Once MDOT has approved the preliminary design, the county can move into the right-of-way acquisition phase. Arnold said there are approximately five parcels needed for right-of-way acquisition.

“We have been working consistently with MDOT to coordinate and make sure that they will be able to approve these plans and the county will be able to move into right-of-way acquisition and can move seamlessly into the Phase B design, which is the final design,” Arnold said.

Phase B, the final design phase, will take approximately 10 months to complete.

Having this stage of the planning process complete places the county in a competitive position for federal grant programs, according to Arnold.

Steen said the board will discuss pursuing a federal BUILD grant at the next board meeting, which will be held on the first Monday in February.

“What you have in hand now will make you much more competitive in that process,” Arnold said. If right-of-way acquisition is well underway when BUILD grant applications are due around May or June, then the county will be in good position to apply, according to Arnold.

Supervisors then voted on the contract with Mississippi Engineering Group for Phase B services and the conclusion of Phase A, which includes bridge design, road design, right-of-way acquisition services, environmental work, advertisement for bids and recommendation of award.

The board approved the contract 4-1, with District One Supervisor Sheila Jones, Steen, District Four Supervisor Karl Banks and District Five Supervisor Paul Griffin voting yes. District Two Supervisor Trey Baxter voted no.

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