Northside Drive Plans

Jackson will likely seek help from the one-percent oversight commission to help repave East Northside Drive.

The city recently opened bids for the mill and overlay project, all of which came in hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget.

In all, three bids were submitted, with the lowest being from Dickerson and Bowen for around $2.5 million.

Engineers’ estimated the project would cost around $1.8 million.

Public Works Director Robert Miller is expected to approach the commission at its December meeting to ask for an additional $714,000 in funding to make up for the shortfall.

If commissioners approve the funding, the project still likely could get under way early next year, Jackson Engineering Manager Charles Williams said.

He said the rising cost of asphalt was the main reason why bids came in over-budget. “Our estimates were based on $80 a ton,” he said. “Dickerson and Bowen came in at $100 a ton. APAC came in at $125 a ton.”

Other options for the city include scrapping the bids and re-advertising the project or seeking the additional $714,000 elsewhere, he said.

The project will include milling and overlaying East Northside from the I-55 North frontage road to North State Street, repairing sidewalks and bringing them up to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Work is being funded in large part with a $1.4 million federal transportation grant awarded to the city through the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.

The commission had already agreed to pay $400,000 to cover the project’s local match.

Engineering estimates were drawn up by Southern Consultants. The city brought on the firm in 2017 to draw up plans for the project. Southern’s $129,000 contract was paid for with one-percent dollars.

Between I-55 and North State, Northside averages about 20,000 vehicles a day. Despite being one of the busiest, the street is one of the city’s worst, according to a study conducted by Stantec Consulting Services in 2013.

As part of the study, Stantec did surface evaluations of all 2,100 lane miles of city streets using specialized equipment. The data was released last year and showed that large portions of East Northside were at or near the end of their serviceable lives.



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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.