More Reunion Parkway work set to begin


Work could begin early next year on Reunion Parkway Phase II and Phase III and Bozeman Road, engineers on the projects told the Board of Supervisors last week.

The combined cost of the projects is $59.7 million with Reunion Phase II estimated to be $24.5 million, Bozeman Road to be $24.5 million and Reunion Phase III to be $10.7 million.

Reunion Parkway Phase II will extend 1.2 miles from Bozeman Road to Parkway East, including a bridge over Interstate 55 that also includes four travel lanes, bike lanes, sidewalk and fiber optic cable placement along the extent of the project. 

Reunion Parkway Phase III will eventually connect Phase II to U.S. 51 when funded.

Phase I of the project, connecting Mississippi 463 to Bozeman Road, was opened to traffic in 2006 and cost $14 million, which was funded entirely by Madison County.

The county currently has much of the funding secured, including more than $10 million from the Mississippi Legislature appropriated in the past two legislative sessions and much of the money has already been spent on the projects. 

Supervisors are still working to obtain more funding from federal and state funds and grants for the projects.

Reunion Parkyway 

Phase II

Ninety percent of the design work on the project that will extend four lanes, bike lanes, sidewalk and fiber optic cable for 1.2-miles from Bozeman Road to Parkway East, including a bridge over interstate-55, has been completed and submitted to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for review, comment and approval, said Darrion Warren, senior project manager for Mississippi Engineering Group, which is the design engineering firm on the Reunion Parkway Phase II.

Up next will be meeting with MDOT, acquiring more right-of-way, advertising for construction bids, awarding contracts and beginning construction, Warren said.

Design work on the bridge is 90% complete and has been submitted to the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s bridge division on April 12 for review, comment and approval, Warren said.

“They are continuing with their review of those plans (and) will be back in contact with us once that review is complete,” Warren said.

Warren said he hopes the meeting with MDOT can be held in the next few weeks and he hopes to be able to advertise for bids for construction on the project between June and August. Once the project is advertised it takes two or three months to award a bid, he said.

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen asked if the construction contract could be awarded by the end of the year.

“We don’t see any issue or concern at this point that would prohibit us from by the year’s end being able to have bids in hand,” Warren said.

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter asked if construction could start by the beginning of next year.

“Yes, sir,” Warren said.

Baxter then asked about the acquisition of right-of-way property and whether any court processes could delay the work.

Warren said approximately 12 right-of-way parcels had to be obtained and some of those could go through a legal process.

“The right of way process could potentially impact the remaining items to get us to construction,” Warren said. “That could possibly push the schedule back.”

At the end of last week’s meeting, supervisors went into executive session and later emerged to say they had voted to condemn one of the rights of way properties for acquisition.

Reunion Parkway

 Phase III

Brad Engles, senior associate, Stantec Engineers, which is conducting environmental studies and land acquisition on Reunion Parkway Phase III that would connect Reunion Parkway East with U.S. 51, said the environmental phase is complete and the company is in the process of acquiring rights of way.

“We have acquired all but three parcels and these parcels are currently in the domain process working their way through that,” Engles said. 

“We hope to have that resolved within the next two months at which time we will look at holding an office review and moving these plans forward. We have acquired all the right of way for the intersection of Green Oak and 51 improvements and those utilities are being relocated in that area. If all goes well with that, we hope to have that portion under construction by the end of the year."

The construction on Phase III would take approximately a year, Engles said.

Steen asked about signalization efforts by MDOT on U.S. 51 to accommodate the project and Engles said it was on target to begin in September.

“Utilities are going fairly smooth, I believe,” Engles said. “Hopefully, that will continue.”

Then, Engles asked supervisors to sign off on a resolution in support of obtaining federal funds for the project.

“This resolution basically states that the Madison County Board of Supervisors supports requesting a member-directed project in the amount of $4 million for the completion of the Reunion Phase III project,” Engles said. “This is an important project for the growth and development of Madison County and we wholeheartedly support federal funding for this project.”

The supervisors unanimously approved the resolution.

Bozeman Road project

Stan Wright of Neel-Schaffer Engineers told supervisors he is hopeful that a project to four-lane Bozeman Road from Mississippi 463 to Reunion Parkway with a raised median in the center and a multi-use trail could be advertised for bids by early next year.

“It is going to look basically like Highland Colony Parkway,” Wright said. “We are also going to improve the intersection of Gluckstadt and Catlett starting basically at Belle Terre and going roughly 400-to-500 feet north onto Catlett. We will be adding a turn lane.”

The project, Wright said, contains 55 parcels of land for rights of way.

“That is a lot of parcels for a project of this size,” Wright said. “Right now we have three in condemnation, and y’all have voted on those. I think you are aware of them. There are, roughly, 17 parcels still open.”

Wright said owners of 12 of the 17 properties have verbally agreed to provide the right of way.

The complex part of the project, Wright said, is the utilities relocation.

“If anybody has driven down this road, you know how many utilities companies there are,” Wright said. 

The utility companies are working to relocate their infrastructure.

“We are still looking at about a year for those guys to be through,” Wright said, “maybe a little less than a year for those guys to be through.”

Wright said the county cannot advertise for bids on construction until the utility companies are through relocating.

“What we will do to expedite it quickly is instead of waiting until they are completely through to move on to that next phase, we are going to start the advertising and bidding phase, and that way the day they are through, we hopefully can put our contractor who wins the low bid out there as soon as possible,” Wright said.

Steen asked how much it would cost to get design work done to carry the Bozeman Road work from Reunion Parkway north to Gluckstadt Road.

“I think we are looking at half a million dollars,” Wright said. “Give or take. I would have to get some specific budgets. ... I’m basing that off of what we originally thought we were going to do and we ended up doing another scope.”

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