Tupelo council approves thoroughfare study

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By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo City Council voted to authorize a comprehensive 20-year study transportation and traffic management study to help the Major Thoroughfare Committee determine priorities for city program for the coming years.
Passed by a 5-2 vote, the council approved $89,500 for Civil-Link, LLC, to conduct the study.
Greg Pirkle, chairman of the Major Thoroughfare Committee, has said the study will help the group determine short- and long-term priorities for the program that devotes about $4 million annually to street improvements in the city.
With more street projects than funding, the study will help determine which areas to focus on until taxpayers vote in 2016 to continue the program, which earmarks city taxes for major thoroughfare improvements.
The study also will help residents serving on the committee decide which projects should be included in future decisions. In the more than 20-year history of the program, this will be the second major study on traffic patterns and management.
Ward 4 Councilwoman Nettie Davis and Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings voted against the study. Davis said she supported the study but was suspicious of the low cost of the Civil Link’s engineering proposal.
“I still have reservations about the experience of the company and the cost,” Davis said.
During Monday’s pre-council meeting, Pirkle cited projects in multiple states completed by the company.
robbie.ward@journalinc.com