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Citywide paving project underway

Crews have mobilized in an effort to repave streets throughout the city of Picayune as part of a $6 million paving project.

Traffic should only be minimally affected by the work, which is currently underway in the Westchester subdivision, Ridge Road and Third Avenue as of Tuesday. Jonathan Hickman with Dungan Engineering said work on Third Avenue will wrap up soon. The Council approved the project back in March of 2019. The last citywide paving project took place about a decade ago.

To ensure the number of cutouts in the new asphalt remain minimal, city crews are looking at the streets on the list to be paved to ensure there are no sewer or water line leaks, said Public Works Director Eric Morris. This project will be complete by spring of next year, weather permitting.

Hickman said that the city and the Pearl River County Utility Authority, the agency that owns the city’s sewer system, recently spent millions over the past five years to fix leaks throughout the water and waste water systems.

Morris said an old steel water line on North Buren Avenue was recently replaced since it was full of patches. While replacing the line, it was relocated from under the asphalt to green space in the right of way.

Affects to traffic should be minor since most of the work will take place on residential streets, but when lane closures are needed personnel will be on site to direct traffic. In addition to nearly every residential street within Picayune, two major roads are planned to be paved, Goodyear Boulevard and Memorial Boulevard. Morris said that the only curb and gutter work on Memorial Boulevard planned as part of this project is to repair areas of damage where curb and gutter currently exists. There are no plans to extend curb and gutter beyond where it currently exists on Memorial Boulevard.

When work is conducted on a street with heavy traffic the city will provide updates via its social media account.

“We ask for everyone’s patience at this time,” Morris said.

Other projects underway within the city include completion of a citywide water line rehabilitation project that aimed to remove nearly all transite water lines. Minor aspects of that project include adding valves to the system.

Also, in preparation for the second phase of the Highway 11 widening project, the city is working the Mississippi Department of Transportation to request bids.

Work as part of phase 1 of that project is anticipated to shift to the east side of the road by the end of this year or early next year. Hickman said that according to previous conversations with MDOT representatives, the state agency hopes to shift traffic to the west side of the road by Thanksgiving of this year, or possibly Christmas.