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Natchez road projects OK’d

NATCHEZ — Property owners along Liberty Road, Ratcliff Place and Brenham Avenue should expect to see $428,000 worth of much-needed road construction projects take shape next spring.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation announced Friday the Mississippi Transportation Commission has confirmed the projects. The commission has agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the City of Natchez to further review requirements and deadlines.

City Engineer David Gardner, who submitted the project applications after the Natchez Board of Aldermen agreed upon which roads needed repair, said he expects planning will take six to eight months before construction begins.

“It’ll be spring of next year before we can actually start construction,” Gardner said. “It’s going to take a while to go through design, to see if any and go through the review process with MDOT.”

The Liberty Road project, estimated to cost $128,000, will begin at a location just past John Glenn Avenue to the St. Catherine Creek Bridge. Work will include an overlay with a two-foot trench widening on both sides of the road, rumble strips, raised pavement markers and new striping.

The Ratcliff Place project, estimated to cost $132,000, will begin at Melrose Avenue and end at Auburn Avenue. Work will include an overlay. Curb cut ramps will also be installed to meet requirements outlined by the American Disability Act. Selected sidewalks will be repaired and trees will be removed from sidewalk areas.

In addition, new striping and raised pavement markers will be installed, meaning utility adjustments will be required.

The Brenham Avenue project, estimated to cost $112,452, will begin at St. Catherine Street and end at Minor Street. The work is identical to the Ratcliff Place project, but includes the removal of the railroad tracks at the intersection of Aldrich Street and Brenham Avenue.

The projects total estimated cost is $428,350, with $342,840 coming from the city’s federal aid urban fund. MDOT will fund the remaining amount. The grand total includes $55,987 for inspections and materials testing.

The FAU funds were restored to the city in April.

The city had set aside $1 million in its FAU budget, and $602,000 went to the Union Street overlay project. Because the remaining balance had not been assigned a specific project, the federal government rescinded the money.

MDOT said all contracts must be awarded and executed before Dec. 31, 2011, in order to retain the federally reinstated funds.

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