Engineering fees lower than expected for Riverside Drive

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Engineering for phase two of the Riverside Drive Reconstruction Project will be half as costly as originally thought.

Even with that good news, though, construction will not move forward on the project until the city of Jackson has the funds in place to pay for it.

To date, no funds have been set aside for construction.

In the coming weeks, Jackson is expected to amend its contract with Waggoner Engineering to design the second phase of Riverside, which will run from Peachtree Street to North State Street.

Public Works Director Robert Miller had hoped to take the item to the Jackson City Council for approval at the April 24 meeting.

However, the item was not included on the council’s agenda for consideration.

In 2016, Waggoner was awarded a $965,000 contract to draw up the first phase of the project, which runs from Peachtree to the I-55 North overpass.

“The original proposal was $520,000 but due to some of the items (that) were addressed in phase one, the scope was reduced to reflect what improvements are really required,” Miller said. “The new proposed design cost is $261,876.”

Engineering for the Riverside project was included in the first-year one-percent infrastructure master plan.

The project was initially broken down into two phases, with a separate design phase for each.

The work will include completely reconstructing the roadway and replacing the water and sewer mains underneath.

The first phase calls for reducing the roadway to one east-bound and one west-bound lane, and adding a sidewalk and multi-use path. That work is expected to cost around $8,777,000.

The second phase will cost around $4.6 million, and will also include rebuilding the roadway and replacing the infrastructure underneath.

Options to fund the project include paying for it strictly with one-percent dollars, seeking grants and using one-percent dollars as local matching funds, or issuing bonds for the work and retiring the debt with one-percent revenues.

Riverside is a major east-west thoroughfare on the Northside. It is used by students and teachers at Murrah High School, Bailey Middle School, Power APAC, Belhaven University and Millsaps College.

The street is also home to the offices for the Boy Scouts of America Andrew Jackson Council and the Salvation Army.

About 6,100 vehicles a day travel the street, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) traffic count maps.

 

 

 

 

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