County road projects taking longer than projected

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 19, 2016

Some ongoing road projects in Pearl River County could be completed within the next few months, relieving many traffic problems.
On Wednesday, County Engineer Les Dungan presented the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors with bids to resurface parts of Hillsdale and Barth Roads, totaling about 10 miles, under state aid project 55.
The Board accepted a bid from TL Wallace Construction Inc. to complete the project at the cost of $422,150.
Dungan said the bid was significantly less than his estimate of $487,466 due to the reduction of oil prices.
The project is estimated to begin within four to six weeks and will involve temporary lane closures, Dungan said.
The Board also authorized submission of plans to Norfolk Southern for the repair of Main Street in Poplarville to improve storm drainage.
The project crosses under an overpass of the company’s rail lines, who requires approval of the plans, costing $2,500 of the $175,000 state legislature grant, Dungan said.
“The goal is to spend every penny of the grant on this problem,” Dungan said.
Dungan said he plans to advertise for bids within the next 30 days. He also said the cost of contractor’s insurance will be higher for the project because of the railroad’s requirements.
Completion of the George Ford bridge project will involve pouring the top slab in the very near future, Dungan said.
The final stage in the placement of the ready-mix concrete was delayed as a result of the heavy rains last week, Dungan said.
After a three-week curing time, the contractor will backfill the culvert and pave the road, Dungan said.
The road will reopen in at least four to five weeks, Dungan said.
“This type construction takes longer than installation of precast bridge, but ultimately is in the best interest of the county in operation and maintenance costs,” Dungan said. “We endure longer construction periods in order for the county to benefit from lower operation costs in the future.”
Many residents have been affected by the bridge’s construction since the bridge was closed in April.
“There’s a balancing act,” Dungan said. “We have to balance the economics of the project with the inconvenience to the public.”
He said the project was within the timeline allotted for the contractor to finish work without penalties.
Dungan said the Richardson-Ozona Road relocation project, which began in February 2015, is nearing completion.
The contractor plans to begin paving next week, Dungan said.
The realignment project involves addition of a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 11, and where Highland Parkway meet, and is part of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s plan for a four-lane highway, Dungan said.
According to previous coverage when the project began, Dungan said the project was estimated to be complete within 12 months, but Dungan said he was optimistic the road would open sooner.
The county is also working on plans to remove vegetation and debris to improve drainage on Richardson Road and a section near Sycamore and Entrekin roads, Dungan said.
These areas are prone to flooding during heavy rains, Dungan said.
The drainage areas are located on six private landowner properties, Dungan said.
Two of the owners have agreed to let the county clean the ditch, which covers a significant part of it, Dungan said. He hopes to have approval from the other property owners soon so they can begin the project.

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About Julia Arenstam

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