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Riverwalk connector could be done by end of year

 

City engineer Kevin Stafford

City engineer Kevin Stafford

 

Nathan Gregory

 

City engineering consultant Kevin Stafford said a sidewalk connecting the Riverwalk to the Columbus Soccer Complex should be completed by the end of 2014. 

 

As the leading agency on the project, Lowndes County supervisors approved to advertise for construction bids, but the Mississippi Department of Transportation is spear-heading the process and will be the agency opening the bids June 17.  

 

MDOT matched $500,000 of a $620,000 grant to install as much as possible of three sidewalk sections spanning 1,500 feet from Coretta Street to the north soccer fields. The county and city agreed to split the remaining $120,000. 

 

The city was awarded a special match credit and has paid more than half of its $60,000 match. The remainder will likely be split over the current and next fiscal year budget. 

 

It was announced in March that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks would chip in an additional $100,000, to which the county added another $25,000. 

 

Between the two grants and funding from Lowndes and Columbus, a total $745,000 is going toward the project. 

 

The MDOT grant will be instrumental in construction of the walking trail extending the Riverwalk near the bridges on Moore's Creek and under the Highway 82 bypass, Stafford told city councilmen earlier this week.  

 

"MDOT is going to put two months on the front end for an erosion control plan to be approved," Stafford said. "The contractor is going to go through that pretty quick. I don't think it's going to take two months." 

 

Stafford said he's hopeful that contractors are turning dirt in late July or early August. 

 

"They have a 150-day window, which is why I say if we give them approval in July they'll finish by December, contractually," Stafford said.

 

Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.

 

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