City awards contracts to fix sidewalks

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It’s been nearly a year since a city block of downtown Poplarville was destroyed by fire, leaving the Masonic Lodge, The Other Side and the Kloze Klozet in ruins.

Although no plans have been revealed as to when construction will begin on new retail and professional office space, this week the city of Poplarville awarded a contract to begin construction of a new sidewalk and brick planters.

Tuesday night, the board of aldermen awarded a $47,390 contract to Bush Construction to build new ADA-compliant sidewalks with brick-trimmed handicapped ramps and brick planters on the Main Street block between Martin Luther King Drive and Erlanger Street.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The sidewalk plans are the city’s first step in bringing all of its sidewalks into compliance with the American Disabilities Act, aldermen said. The new sidewalk also will feature a scored concrete grid at each end to alert a blind person he or she is approaching an intersection.

Construction should begin after the first of the year, the board said.

The city has received notice it was awarded a grant of approximately $400,000 to redo all of the city’s existing sidewalks to bring them into compliance with ADA standards. Once that money is received, the city will advertise the job for bids, the board reported. The remaining city sidewalks also will feature the brick-trimmed, handicapped-accessible ramps and scored concrete grids.

The city has no knowledge as to when those funds will be released to begin improvements, aldermen said.

Pending approval by FEMA, the board also accepted a second bid by Bush Construction for approximately $105,000 to repair curbs, gutters and street edges throughout the city damaged during Hurricane Katrina. FEMA had initially assessed the damage at approximately $26,000.

Actual bids to do the work came in considerably higher than that initial assessment, which led the board to agree to accept the bid pending FEMA’s approval.

At the board’s Tuesday, Dec. 18, meeting, aldermen will open bids to award a contract to begin repairing and repaving city streets.

In other gusiness, the board reappointed Martin Smith as city attorney and awarded a lawn maintenance contract for Forest Lawn Cemetery.