Northside Drive Repaving

A contractor could begin work early next year to repave one of the busiest – and bumpiest – thoroughfares on the Northside.

The city of Jackson is expected to open bids on the East Northside Drive reconstruction project on November 6.

Public works began advertising for contractors last month, after engineering on the project wrapped up, city officials said.

Work will include milling and overlaying Northside from North State Street to the I-55 North frontage road. The bid also calls for repairing sidewalks and bringing them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The winning firm will be chosen through the blind bid process. The “lowest and best bid” will be taken to the Jackson City Council for approval, and then must be signed off on by the mayor and the city’s legal department.

The contract then must be submitted to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for final approval.

The approval process will take several weeks, meaning that a notice to proceed likely won’t be issued until December or January.

Work likely will not begin in December, amid the holiday season, city officials say. Once construction begins, the repaving will take between 120 and 180 days, according to previous estimates from public works.

The project is being funded with a $1.4 million federal transportation grant, which was awarded to the city through the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.

Because a grant is being used, all phases of the project have had to be signed off on by the MDOT.

In September, the state agency signed off on the project’s engineering specifications and gave the city permission to bid the work.

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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