City breaks ground for gateway

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005



The Natchez Democrat

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VIDALIA &045;&045; The city of Vidalia accepted three bids Thursday night for the construction of the new gateway and welcome center on the riverfront.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Hyram Copeland and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, along with officials from both sides of the river, helped break ground on the new facility.

&uot;This is one of the biggest days in Vidalia, Louisiana,&uot; Copeland said at the ground-breaking.

Blanco said she was &uot;delighted&uot; to share in the event.

&uot;I’m glad to be with such a determined community,&uot; she said.

&uot;If you think regionally, a lot of good things are going to happen.&uot;

At its meeting Thursday evening, the low bid came from Don M. Barron Contractor, Inc., for $5,024,000 with an alternate bid of $298,000.

Traxler Construction Co., Inc., bid $5,787,000 with an aldernate of $464,000.

Nottingham Construction Co., Inc., bid $5,850,000 with an alternate of $430,000.

All three bids were taken under advisement.

Construction on the center, originally slated to start in the summer of 2004, was delayed when costs increased and the design was altered.

Once construction starts, the facility should be open to the public within 12 to 14 months.

The facility will include a conference meeting area to seat between 840 and 1,000.

The building will also have a state welcome center, the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce, a Bowie exhibit and atrium and restrooms.