Street could be designated FAU

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 12, 2009

NATCHEZ — The city is working to designate Gayosa Avenue as a federal aid urban road, which would make it eligible for funds.

City Engineer David Gardner is working on the initiative, claiming that Gayosa is a busy enough street to receive the designation.

He said it is a collector street for heavy volume streets such as Martin Luther King Jr. Street and John R. Junkin Drive.

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“Gayosa is collecting cars from the residential area,” also, Gardner said. “Plus there is also a lot of through-traffic, so the traffic counts are higher than your (normal) neighborhood street,” he said.

Similarly, Minor Street was designated as a federal aid urban road for the same reasons.

The designation could open the street up to the $200,000 per year allotment from the FAU program for upgrades and improvements.

An example of that benefit is Union Street, which has been collecting the annual allotted funds for three years.

Gardner said three years is the right amount of time to build up enough funds for a semi-large street project.

And it’s pretty much almost the cut-off point.

“If you don’t (use the funds) after the fourth year, you’ll lose your money,” he said.

And by collecting the funds for three years, the city will be able to resurface Union Street from Orleans Street to George F. West Boulevard.

The project is slated to begin in August.

Overall, Gardner said it’s a benefit to have the FAU designation.

Gayosa’s designation is at the halfway point, he said, with Mississippi Department of Transportation approval pending.

If so, MDOT’s approval will be recommended to the Federal Highway Administration, which will be the final say in the designation.

Gardner said if the designation is received for Gayosa Avenue, the city can start accumulating funds to do future improvements on the road.