No funds available for second phase of water main project

By ANTHONY WARREN,

More than three years after it was approved, the second phase of the Eastover Water Main Replacement Project has yet to get under way.

The project was included as part of Jackson’s first-year infrastructure master plan.

The city’s one-percent oversight commission approved the plan in spring 2015.

The plan included replacing two sections of water line along Eastover Drive, with the first phase running from the I-55 North frontage road to Ridgewood Road, and the second phase going from Ridgewood Road to Twin Lakes Circle, and then from Twin Lakes to Dogwood Drive.

The first phase was completed in late 2016. However, the second phase has yet to move forward, mainly because of a lack of funding.

“There’s no schedule, no scope of work, no budget (for it),” said Public Works Director Robert Miller.

The first-year plan included $13.7 million in projects and expenditures, with project costs estimates provided by former Public Works Director Kishia Powell.

In many cases, those estimates turned out to be too low, and the former one-percent program managers pulled funding from some projects to cover cost overruns on others.

In other instances, some projects simply did not move forward because of costs.

According to a copy of the plan, both phases of the Eastover project were projected to run around $1.4 million. The first phase alone, though, ended up costing $983,000.

The remaining funds were moved to cover overruns on the Robinson Road Bridge Replacement Project, according to a previous report in the Sun.

 

Meanwhile, the line east of Ridgewood still gives Eastover residents headaches.

The line is often plagued with breaks, causing drops in water pressure and brown water. Additionally, the street is often dug up so spot repairs can be made.

“If we could get the project done, we could have a nicer road and clean water,” Greater Eastover Foundation Executive Director Dana Robertson said.

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