MDOT awards Highway 6 Jackson Avenue project

town_oxford_greenBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal

OXFORD – The Mississippi Transportation Commission awarded a $5,565,898.93 contract to Talbot Bros. Construction of Nesbit for safety and traffic-flow improvements to one of Oxford’s busiest gateways. Talbot will build a Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) at Highway 6 and Jackson Avenue in an aim to improve both traffic flow and the margin of safety at what is currently a bottleneck.

The innovative design will cover some six-tenths of a mile on Highway 6 and will provide much greater separation between westbound vehicles on Highway 6 and those eastbound vehicles turning left from the highway to Jackson Avenue. The intersection in its present configuration is notorious for serious wrecks, including some fatal ones. (For an animated graphic of the planned project, visit oxfordms.net/home/item/highway-6-interchange-proposals.html.)

“This has been a long time coming, and we’re excited to get construction of that project underway to enhance the safety of our citizens and visitors,” said Mayor George “Pat” Patterson. “It’s the first step in a process to improve traffic in that area of Oxford.”

City Engineer Bart Robinson added, “It’ll mean some traffic congestion during construction, of course, but we’re excited to have the project under contract.”

Talbot’s bid – the lowest of three for the project – was some 14 percent above MDOT engineers’ estimates, but rebidding the project would have delayed its completion by several months. As contracted, construction is due to be completed by early August 2015.

The Jackson Avenue project will be Oxford’s second current intersection reworking on Highway 6. Old Taylor Road’s interchange with the thruway is closed until mid-August of this year while contractors add new lanes to the bridge for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

The Old Taylor project includes rebuilding the exit with two-lane roundabouts and widening Old Taylor Road southward for several hundred feet to its intersection with Bickerstaff Drive. Completion is scheduled for November 2015.

errol.castens@journalinc.com