ESI wins Major Thoroughfare contract

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Major Thoroughfare Program Committee today selected Engineering Solutions Inc. to handle the next five years of large-scale road work in the city.

It now goes to the City Council for final approval.

ESI of Tupelo was one of two finalists for the contract. Cook Coggin Engineers of Tupelo was the other.

Both firms had competed five years ago for the MTP contract in a bitter battle that ended with each company getting a portion of the work.

They also had competed 10 years ago, with ESI winning. Cook Coggin had won the job five years prior to that.

The committee’s recommendation was based on the results of a state-approved scoring system that ranked each firm based on a set of criteria. ESI’s score was higher than that of Cook Coggin.

The Major Thoroughfare Program is a taxpayer-funded initiative that improves the city’s transportation infrastructure. Voters decide every five years whether to renew the program, which operates on a 10-mill annual property tax.

It was first passed in 1991. The most recent election was this May, with the next phase beginning this year.

It includes an estimated $22.4 million worth of projects, including the widening of South Gloster and East Main Streets.

Because Cook Coggin had been awarded the South Gloster project, which initially was part of Phase 4, the committee recommended it keep that project in Phase 5.

The firm also will be awarded a portion of the East Main Street expansion – from Veterans Boulevard to Willow Road. ESI will design the remainder of that project.