Plan to Complete Project
One project planned for the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID) will finish a job undertaken by the city of Jackson years ago.
The CCID master plan was recently released. The plan includes eight road projects, including a small project to repair sidewalks, curbs and gutters along a portion of East Capitol Street.
Work will essentially finish out the “Capitol Street Renaissance Project,” which was started years ago by the city.
Jackson finished up work on the $5.6 million renaissance project in 2015. The project called for two-waying the roadway from North State Street to Gallatin Street, in an effort to make the thoroughfare more business and pedestrian-friendly.
Work was to include adding new striping and signalization, installing new roundabouts, bringing sidewalks and other pedestrian features up to federal standards and repaving the roadway.
However, funds ran short and a portion of Capitol between Lamar and North State was not repaved and sidewalks were not updated.
Under Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the repaving was wrapped up around the time the Two Mississippi Museums opened.
Now, state officials are planning to tackle the streets along the roadway as part of the CCID master plan. The plan calls for spending $1.44 million in CCID money to repair/replace the sidewalks, curb and gutter between West Street and State Street.
Work will be paid for with special funds allocated to the CCID district. Lawmakers approved setting up the district in 2017 and setting aside a special annual allocation to help cover infrastructure repairs within it.
The district was set up to help offset the city’s costs for providing municipal services to state-owned facilities.
Jackson is required to provide fire, water, sewer and police services to the facilities, despite the fact that the buildings are not assessed an annual property tax.
Capitol Street is traveled by about 4,800 vehicles a day and is often considered “Mississippi’s Main Street.” It is home to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion and leads directly to the Old Capitol Museum, located where Capitol dead-ends into State.
Rebidding Meadowbrook Bridge
It’s back to the drawing board for the Meadowbrook Road bridge replacement project.
Jackson city officials recently tossed two bids received for the roughly $410,000 project, on the advice of the city’s legal counsel.
The bridge is located between East Ridge and Berlin and has been closed for more than a year.
The project will now be re-bid, with hopes that a contractor could be brought on by July, and construction could begin late this summer.
“There was an issue with the formality of one of the bids,” said Engineering Manager Charles Williams. “The city felt it was in the best interest of all parties involved to reject all bids and put it out for advertisement (again).
“The city didn’t drop the ball on this one.”
Jackson received two bids for the project, one from Hemphill Construction and one from Utility Constructors. Utility came in under budget but was rejected on a technicality and Hemphill was $29,000 over bid, Williams said.
An item had been placed on the city council’s agenda for May 14, but the item was removed at the behest of the legal department.
Public works should begin re-advertising the bid in the next two weeks. Contractors will have 30 days to submit proposals. From there, bids will be opened and evaluated, and the lowest and best bid will be taken to the council for approval.
The bridge was closed in April 2018, after it was declared unsafe by the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction. Inspections showed the wooden pilings underneath the structure were infested with termites.
Approximately 3,400 motorists who use the Meadowbrook Bridge will continue driving alternate routes.
Funds for Trail
Efforts to add on to the LeFleur East Trail have gotten a major boost from the Mississippi Legislature.
In the waning days of the 2019 session, lawmakers approved allocating $300,000 in state funds for the Eastover trail project.
The funds will serve as seed money for the project, which will connect the LeFleur East Trail to the LeFleur Museum District.
While plans had not been finalized at press time, the new pathway would run south from Eastover Drive, around the campuses of the Mississippi Schools for the Blind and the Deaf and the Mississippi Home for Medically Fragile Children, which is currently under construction and come out at Smith-Wills Stadium and Jamie Fowler Boyll Park.
“Everybody is going to be able to use this – residents of the center (for medically fragile children), residents of LeFleur East, workers at the R&D Center. It’s going to be great,” said LeFleur East Foundation Executive Director Stacey Jordan.
The foundation is now working with Neel-Schaffer to draw up plans for the project. Final costs for the trail had not been determined at press time.
Jordan said construction will likely cost more than the $300,000 allocated. “There’s a lot of fund-raising that’s going to have to happen.”
No timeline was given for when construction would get under way.
Work on the LeFleur East Trail wrapped up last year. That trail runs along the south side of Eastover Drive from the District at Eastover to Eastwood Drive.
St. Dominic Concert
The Mississippi Opera Association (MOA) will present Moonlight and Magic, a vocal recital featuring soprano, Stacey Trenteseaux from Dresden, Germany and pianist Zhaolei Xie from Beijing, China, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Dominic Chapel.
Moonlight & Magic is the first program of a new Mississippi Opera recital series called Opera in the Chapel. Audiences will enjoy a favorite selection of opera arias, musical theatre tunes, and art songs celebrating the magic, mystery, and romance of love in the chapel.
Finished in 2012, St. Dominic’s Chapel was designed with state of the art acoustics and appears in the book of “20 years of Worship Spaces” published by the Acoustical Society of America. The chapel is dedicated to Sister Dorothea “Dotty” Sondgeroth of the Dominican Sisters of Jackson, who coordinated and realized the vision of the new chapel at St. Dominic Hospital. St. Dominic Chapel is located at 969 Lakeland Dr.
This recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call 601-960-2300.