Thursday, June 14, 2007
Supervisors get behind road/bridge projects
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors pressed ahead on road and bridge projects as the construction season gets into full swing.
Bids were opened for State Aid funded overlay of a portion of Hernando Road. Lehman-Roberts Co. was awarded the bid at $573,801, about $40,000 under state engineers’ estimate for what it will take to do the job. Other bids were Standard Construction, Inc., at $665,705 and W.D. Construction at $628,804. The work includes overlay of over a mile of Hernando Road stretching from Lee’s Crossing to Raven Roost Road.
County engineer Larry Britt announced two roads in Marshall County were approved for safety improvements by State Aid. Wall Hill Road and parts of Hernando Road will be scheduled for safety upgrades such as signs, rumble strips and striping. Britt said eleven roads were selected by the state for these safety improvements among requests sent in from 18 counties.
The new overlay on Strickland Road is now curing. Contractors will gravel the shoulders, fix drives, put up signs and paint stripes in a few weeks, Britt said.
Two bridges slated for replacement on Odell Road will likely be put out for bid to contractors mid-summer, Britt said. Work won’t be started in time to finish the bridges before school starts, he said.
County administrator Larry Hall reported on progress on county road projects.
A turn lane at Wingo and Cayce Road is ready for asphalt. W.D. Construction will go to work on the overlay this week.
County crews are clearing and scraping at several locations including Barringer, Cooper, Stinson, Hubbard and Joe Cox roads. Lehman-Roberts is paving and putting down soil cement on two miles of Lunati Road and 2.5 miles of Barringer and Dogwood roads.
A bridge was finished at County Line Road in the Wall Hill area. The bridge was constructed out of used spans purchased from surplus at Tunica County.
Supervisors approved travel for Hall and others to attend a state fire marshals’ Fire Safety Summit and a Federal Resource Summit in June.
Several grants needing further attention include proposals for overpass studies and a Potts Camp water grant, and a first-time homebuyer’s grant program.
In other business, the board learned from IDA executive director Bill Renick that Mississippi and Arkansas are out of the running for a big Gulf States Toyota project with Louisiana and Texas still in the competition.
A recent tour of Marshall County by a Toyota supplier was productive, he said. The supplier representatives were impressed by the hospitality and workforce development training offered by the county, but concerned about a recent dropout rate report in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal citing about a 25 percent or better high school dropout rate for several counties except Pontotoc which came in at 5 percent, Renick said.
“It’s a problem all across America,” he said. “We’ve got to work on improving the workforce.”
A stakeholders meeting is scheduled for June 14 at the IDA building to discuss development opportunities along Eddie Lee Smith Drive to the West Holly Springs Exit and to the Airport.
Best choices for new industrial parks continue to be in east Byhalia, North and West Holly Springs and at Potts Camp, Renick said.
Renick said Toyota suppliers are looking hard at Marshall and Tate counties and at Lafayette County.
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