Price doubles for testing Main Street lane changes

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Testing the Main Street lane changes will cost twice as much as previously expected, City Council members were told Tuesday.
It now will cost $31,765 to temporarily restripe Main Street from Green to Elizabeth to be two lanes, plus a center turn lane. Consultants previously had told downtown Tupelo leaders that the test would cost about $16,000.
The City Council has asked for a test of the proposed lane changes before it votes on permanent changes to the road.
The current plans call for an overhaul of a 1.5-mile stretch of road from Green Street to the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.
The current design for the $2.9 million project includes bike lanes, ornamental sidewalks, ornamental street lighting, crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals and asphalt improvements for Main and Reese streets.
Tuesday, Jon Milstead of the Community Development Foundation told City Council members at a work session that the price increased because the original materials quoted are no longer available.
He and Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association Executive Director Debbie Brangenberg were seeking the council’s guidance about the next step and also informing the members of their progress.
They had the option of sticking to the budget and only testing the street from Green Street to Front Street or doubling the budget to do the full test.
“If we’re going to have a test, we need to have a correct test, a thorough test,” said council President Fred Pitts. “To me, $15,000 seems like a small price to pay for a $2.9 million project.”
The council did not have to vote on the increased price of the test. The city already had set aside about $75,000 for Main Street improvements. The additional costs will be paid from that money, Brangenberg said.
The street test had been slated to start Monday, but it has been delayed because of weather. The test will start as soon as the weather allows workers to apply the tape for the temporary striping.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@journalinc.com.

More online
The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association has launched a Facebook page for the project. Search for “Tupelo Birthplace Trail” on Facebook for more details.