May 17, 2014 11:03:56 PM
Lowndes County supervisors have selected a contractor to do infrastructure upgrades on a one-mile stretch of Old West Point Road.
TLSL, Inc. was named the lowest and best bidder to oversee replacement of a failing box culvert as well as resurfacing and widening of the portion between West Bank Access Road and Younger Road. The Walnut, Mississippi-based company's bid was $1,155,113.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation's Office of State Aid Road Construction is funding the project. Construction will begin this summer.
State Aid Road money had long hung in the balance and was in jeopardy of being taken away from the project due to a property owner's reluctance to grant the county right-of-way so construction could begin. The road is in supervisor Leroy Brooks' district. Last year Brooks asked county attorney Tim Hudson to explore using eminent domain to obtain right-of-way so work could go forward. Property owners who initially objected agreed to comply with the county on the condition of being compensated for the appraised value of their land and confirmation that construction equipment and construction debris would be kept off their premises.
Brooks remarked last month during a board meeting that the road as a whole was "getting to be one of the worst in the county."
"You've got a large residential area over there and it's a key thoroughfare," he said. "At some point, the county has got to make a commitment to put in some local money (to pay for portions of the road not included in the State Aid-funded project). That needs to be a major concern of this entire board."
The only other bidder for the project was J.J. Ferguson Sand and Gravel Company out of Greenwood. Its bid was $1,306,050.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
1. Ex-office manager arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY