Work could start soon on bridgeBy ANTHONY WARREN,
A contractor could be brought on to replace the Meadowbrook Road bridge in February, about 10 months after it was closed for structural concerns. The bridge is one of three on the Northside that the city of Jackson would like to have under repair in the new year. Public Works also hopes to bid out the Cavalier Drive and Hawthorn Drive bridge projects by the summer. “These will be total bridge replacements. We’ll remove the existing structures and replace them,” said Engineering Manager Charles Williams. Jackson bid out the Meadowbrook project in December. The lowest bid was for around $400,000.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s administration has applied for emergency repair funds from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to help cover costs.
“We won’t know until the end of this month whether that application … will be approved,” Williams said. “If it doesn’t, we’ll probably look at other funding sources.
“I’m working on a Plan B for that, and I’m hoping that the first or second council meeting in February, we can move forward with awarding the project to a contractor.”
He wasn’t sure if Plan B would include asking the one-percent commission for the dollars.
“The commission will be meeting in February to determine how it hopes to spend funds for the year. We won’t request any funds until after that meeting,” Williams explained.
A roughly 1,000-foot span of Meadowbrook between East Ridge and Berlin drives was closed earlier this year following inspections by the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction.
Inspections showed that the wooden pilings underneath the structure were infested with termites, and therefore unfit for use by motorists.
The section of roadway impacts about 3,400 vehicles a day, according to MDOT traffic volume counts.
The structures along Hawthorn and Cavalier were closed around the same time, also following State Aid inspections.
Stantec Consulting was brought on late last year to draw up replacement plans.
“Probably in the next 45 to 60 days those designs should be complete,” Williams said. “Depending on the availability of funds, we’ll try to advertise those projects in late spring or early summer.”
The city received $50,000 in BP oil settlement funds to help with the Hawthorn project during the 2018 legislative special session.
Administration officials are now working with the state to draw up a memorandum of understanding with the state to receive the funds once construction begins, Williams said.
The monies are being distributed by the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.
The Hawthorn bridge is located in the road’s 3000 block, between Sherwood and Robin drives. The Cavalier structure is between Old Canton Road and Wood Dale Drive.
The city was directed to close the structures due to “issues found with timber piles, headwalls and/or other timber components on each bridge,” according to State Aid.
Timber piles are the wooden poles that hold up the bridges. Headwalls are structures used to maintain the road formations around the bridges and to help prevent erosion.
The Cavalier and Hawthorn bridges both run over Eubanks Creek.