An anticipated trail on the Northside could be bid out for construction in January.
The city of Jackson has obtained all the easements needed for the Museum to Market Trail and is now finalizing documents to submit to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for final review.
Because the project is being paid for in large part with federal funds, all steps must be signed off on by MDOT.
“We wrapped up all the right-of-way issues this fall. We’ll be ready to put it out to bid in January,” Jackson Engineering Manager Charles Williams said.
Once completed, the trail will run essentially from the Mississippi Farmers’ Market to Museum Boulevard near the LeFleur Museum District.
Earlier this year, the council purchased easements from the Greater Belhaven Foundation, Heights M. Street LLC, and Chimneyville High Street LLC. Jackson also accepted easements donations from the state.
Officials had hoped to bid the project out in August, but was delayed because of easement issues, Williams explained. “The right-of-way took a little longer than we anticipated. Everything on this project has taken longer than we anticipated, but we’re at the finish line,” he said.
Previously, the trail was put on hold so crews could install a new water line from the J.H. Fewell Water Treatment Plant to High Street, along the trail’s path. Engineers and city officials decided to hold off on the trail’s construction, so it wouldn’t have to be dug up later to install the 48-inch main. Contractors were supposed to wrap up the installation work by December 2017, but the project was delayed by unusually wet weather. It was “substantially completed” in the spring.
The trail will run from the farmers’ market, through Belhaven, under I-55 and to the museum district. The district includes the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
It is being funded by a $1.1 million federal grant, which was awarded to the city by MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.