By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – A project connecting Elvis Presley’s birthplace to downtown Tupelo moved a step closer Thursday.
The Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail project includes construction of overlay, roadway and bridge widening, curb, sidewalk, striping along 9,341 feet and traffic signalization from Green Street in downtown Tupelo to the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.
Two bids were submitted to work on the trail:
• Century Construction for $12,362,726.74.
• Key LLC for $11,528,115.04.
The next step in the process is for the bids to be reviewed by the Major Thoroughfare Committee, the City Council and the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
At the earliest, a decision will be made by July, officials said.
Engineering Solutions Inc. of Tupelo is the designer.
Debbie Brangenburg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, said the project is the “next phase in connecting more livable areas for our community” and to provide more access to “our community’s No. 1 tourist attraction.”
She said the new sidewalks would replace 40-year old sidewalks in downtown Tupelo, giving the area another boost.
The project would “set the bar” for future improvement projects in the city, she added.
Presley was born in Tupelo on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis with his parents at age 13. He was 42 when he died Aug. 16, 1977.
The annual Tupelo Elvis Fest started Thursday and runs through Sunday.