Construction begins on Natchez Trails Project

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2010

NATCHEZ — Construction on the Natchez Trails Project has begun.

City Engineer and Trails Project Chairman David Gardner confirmed Thursday construction crews are demolishing a two-foot wide strip of concrete pavement along Broadway Street to make way for a 10-foot wide concrete sidewalk.

“We’re doing sidewalk and demolition work — taking up old sidewalks and putting in new sidewalks,” Gardner said.

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The Natchez Board of Aldermen in February awarded a $1.6 million contract to Camo Construction Co. of Vidalia for the first phase of the project — a $2.9 million venture.

The first phase, slated for completion next summer, is fully funded via government earmarks, grants and private contribution, and includes 5.6 miles of trails along Broadway, High, Rankin, Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. streets.

The aldermen in April allowed Gardner to initiate the second phase of the project, which will stretch from St. Catherine Street to Forks of the Road.

Once complete, St. Catherine Street will feature refurbished sidewalks, handicapped ramps, landscaping work, lighting and historic exhibits.

The second phase is funded by a $607,623 Delta Region Transportation Development Program grant, but the city must put up a $151,905 match.

The recently reformed Natchez-Adams County Community Alliance announced in May the trails project is among its three top community priorities. The alliance also supports the Phatwater Kayak Challenge and Christmas in Natchez-City of Lights.

In a previous report, Natchez National Historical Park Superintendent Kathleen Jenkins and Historic Natchez Foundation Director Mimi Miller, both alliance members, said brick colors for the trail’s pavilion and plaza on Broadway Street have been selected.