Contractors bid on West Jackson Avenue intersection

Contractors’ bids for the reconfiguration of the Mississippi 6/Jackson Avenue intersection in Oxford came in from 14 to 21 percent over state estimates for the project. The bids were opened Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).

MDOT engineers had pegged costs at $4,857,336.88 to create a Continuous Flow Interchange (CFI) at one of the city’s busiest gateways, while actual bids ranged from $5,565,898.93 to $5,884,551.37.

The current MS 6/Jackson Ave. intersection is both a bottleneck for traffic entering Oxford’s west-end commercial district and a notorious site for wrecks.

If the contract is awarded, the resulting CFI will funnel eastbound MS 6 traffic turning onto Jackson into two left turn lanes that cross over westbound MS6 lanes well before the current intersection, separating oncoming traffic by greater time and distance intervals. (See animation of the design at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCl5_wiIkig.)

Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said MDOT’s legal review staff will compare the estimates and bids before the Commission meets on June 10 to examine whether MDOT’s estimate might have been inaccurate.

“It’s possible we missed something, just as contractors sometimes miss things,” Tagert said. If the bids are deemed justifiable, the three-man Transportation Commission will then vote on whether to accept one of the bids. If the project has to be let for rebidding, the current Aug. 3, 2015, completion date would likely be changed.

“Old Taylor Road was a very similar circumstance,” said Oxford Public Works Director Bart Robinson, referring to the current project to widen its bridge and build roundabouts at both ends.
“It came in significantly over estimates, but because of the timeframe they decided to award the contract,” he said. “I hope if they can find any means to fund this, they’ll do the same here.”

errol.castens@journalinc.com

Twitter: @oxfordcitizenec



About Errol Castens

I'm a news reporter and columnist for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Focusing on Oxford and Lafayette County, I've been a part of the L-O-U community since 1991.