Hattiesburg council approves N. 38th Ave. ‘pathway’

Hattiesburg council approves N. 38th Ave. ‘pathway’
Hattiesburg is preparing to add sidewalks along North 38th Avenue from Hardy Street north to the Longleaf Trace at West Fourth Street. (Photo source: WDAM) (Source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For the past couple years or so, Hattiesburg Ward 1 Councilman Jeffrey George has advocated for continuous and wider sidewalks along both sides of North 38th Avenue, a well-traveled, north-south vehicular corridor that also sees plenty of foot and bike traffic.

That project appears set to come off the drawing board and be made a reality.

The City Council unanimously approved the plan Tuesday evening to give the final green light to the $561,965 project that would lay down pedestrian pavement from Hardy Street north past the West Fourth Street intersection to the Longleaf Trace.

“The project is going to be a multi-use pathway that will connect all the way from the Longleaf Trace at Fourth Street all the way up to Hardy Street,” George said. “So, it’s more than just a sidewalk.

“It’s an opportunity to connect in that part of town with the Longleaf Trace and also to connect in the (University of Southern Mississippi), so that people who are walking (along the area) can have a better means of transportation other than just driving down 38th Avenue.”

L & A Contracting Company of Hattiesburg was awarded the bid for a project. Barring any unexpected issues, George said the project could be underway within the next few months with work expected to wrap around the holidays or early next year at the latest.

“It’s a 200-day contract once they get started, so that’s kind of the timetable,” George said.

The project was budgeted into the city’s expenses for 2018-19, and George said District 102 Rep. Missy McGee was able to capture $100,000 from the British Petroleum oil spill funds and direct them toward the project.

“We’re very appreciative of that,” George said.

Hub City council to vote on N. 38th Ave. sidewalk

Other items the Council approved on Tuesday include:

  • Paying nearly $18,000 for rental equipment and software for the April 23 special election that add 1 percent to the city sales tax.
  • Authorize Mayor Toby Barker to execute a $9,000 pool management agreement for the City of Hattiesburg’s Summer Aquatic Program at its three recreational pools: Scott Jones Jr. Pool at the C.E. Roy Center; Ben McNair Recreational Center; and Dahmer Park Pool.
  • Acknowledge the donation of four sets of tactical rifle-rated body armor from the Hattiesburg Fraternal Order of Police. The gift, worth $6,096, will be used by the Hattiesburg Police Department’s Entry Team.
  • Adopt a resolution “approving the form of and authorizing the execution of” an “interlocal” agreement between the city and Forrest County on paying off city bonds that funded up $9 million for use in infrastructure improvements to the “Elam Arms Development Project).

Tuesday’s vote formalized percentages of tax revenue that the city and county are paying toward the bonds’ retirements.

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