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Supervisors work to eliminate soccer park congestion


A barrier blocks Coretta Street Friday. The street may be extended to ease traffic flow and alleviate congestion at the Columbus Soccer Complex.

A barrier blocks Coretta Street Friday. The street may be extended to ease traffic flow and alleviate congestion at the Columbus Soccer Complex. Photo by: Lee Adams/Dispatch Staff




Jeff Clark



Eliminating problems with traffic and parking at the Columbus Soccer Complex has been a main objective for the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors since the park opened in September. Friday, the board took a major step forward in approving a new project that will extend Coretta Street on the back end of the complex. 


During Friday's regularly scheduled board meeting, Kevin Stafford, of Neel-Schaffer, asked the board for permission to seek up to $50,000 in PLN funds through Tombigbee Water Management to put in two culverts on the back end of the property on Coretta Street. 


"Putting in culverts and connecting Coretta Street will allow people to circle all the way around the park," Stafford said. "It will help eliminate a lot of the traffic congestion." 


Stafford said the $50,000 estimate was on the high end, and he expected the project to cost less. The PLN funds would cover the engineering fees and materials.  


"We are hoping Tombigbee Water Management will do the work on this," Stafford said. "This work will be done at no cost to the county." 


The board unanimously approved Stafford's request to pursue the funding.  


In a separate motion, the board voted to draw up a resolution asking Tombigbee Water Management to do the labor on the project.  


Tombigbee Water Management's board is expected to discuss the request during its first quarter board meeting. 


Stafford said he hopes the project could get started in the mid-summer of 2013. 


"This will help the traffic problem tremendously," District 1 Supervisor and board president Harry Sanders said Saturday. "By connecting Coretta Street, it will allow people to circle around to the south end after a ball game instead of going out the same way they came in." 


The board also approved a request from county administrator Ralph Billingsley to purchase some additional land on the south end of the complex for additional spillover parking. 


"After purchasing the half-acre of property at Seventh Avenue North and Third Street North, we were approached by an individual about purchasing an additional small parcel of land east of the Crawley property," Billingsley said. 


Billingsley said the property would cost about $1,700. 


"This is roughly the same price we paid for the half-acre, which cost us $5,000," Billingsley said. "We are actually coming out about $100 cheaper." 


Although funding for a pedestrian bridge that would connect the soccer complex with the Columbus Riverwalk has not been secured, the board voted to reapply for a grant for the project. The project would total $124,978. An MDOT grant would provide $99,982 and the county would provide $124,978 in matching funds.




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