By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – In less than a year, the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s long-awaited District 1 office will be open.
Work resumed on the project early last month, with Jesco taking over construction after the original contractor filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
“We went over a punch list developed by the engineers and architect after the other contract left, and that’s what we did for the first three weeks,” said Jesco Senior Vice President Jerry Maxcy.
The work on the new building on the hill overlooking North Gloster Street originally was to have been finished this month, but the contractor, DCamp&M of Bay St. Louis, filed for bankruptcy protection in January and put the project on hold.
That sent the project back for re-bidding and Jesco in Tupelo was awarded the bid in April.
Maxcy said significant progress on the exterior would be evident in the next few weeks.
MDOT’s original estimate for the new 34,000-square-foot building was $7.2 million. DCamp&M was the low-bidder with $5.1 million. The bonding company with the project selected Jesco to resume the work.
Once complete, the new MDOT facility will accommodate projected 20 percent growth for the state agency. Among the features in the building will be an auditorium capable of holding about 200 people. That will allow MDOT to host meetings at its district office, rather than renting the space elsewhere.
MDOT project engineer Matt Dunn said after a review of the unfinished building by the bonding company, JESCO and MDOT officials, no major changes were found to be needed.
“The biggest thing was getting the job site cleaned up,” he said.
Maxcy said Jesco was able to retain many of the previous subcontractors on the project.