New gateway arch overlooks Main St.
MADISON — “We have more work to do,” Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler declared on Tuesday after an archway to the historic district was put up across the west end of Main Street and the roadway re-opened.
“When it is completed, y’all will be so proud,” the mayor said in a Facebook post.
Officials expect the ongoing arch project to continue another two months with brickwork after the initial installation blocked traffic Monday.
Construction crews with Precision Fab and Refurbishing worked into the night and rain to complete the project on Monday.
The project includes some brick and masonry work that is expected to continue for about two more months but is not expected to obstruct traffic.
“I think people will love it when it is finished,” Hawkins Butler said. “I know we are excited about it. They worked very hard in the night and rain to make sure this only took up one day of traffic.”
Madison Police Capt. Kevin Newman said that the road is back open to traffic and there were no reported traffic problems. All businesses were accessible from Main Street via Post Oak Road during the closure.
“There will be some continued construction occurring on the arch project but it should not require road closures,” he said. “Regardless, motorists should proceed with caution in this area as individuals will be present working in the area.”
Alan Hoops, Director of Environment and Design for the city, said that the project has been floating around City Hall for some time.
He said he remembers discussions going back as far as five years ago but knows that the mayor has wished to build something that will mark the historic district of town for longer than that.
The arch is part of the new Village at Madison, an upscale commercial and residential development in historic Madison.
The 18-acre development will include 60,000 square feet of commercial space, 37 homes and nine townhouses. Half Shell Oyster House, their first tenant, opened in September of last year.
Main Street Investors, comprised of partners Dr. Michael Manning of Ridgeland, Lee Stafford of West Point, and Mark Castleberry of Starkville, is developing the project.
Castleberry said that the arch was “mutually desirable” to developers and the city and has influenced the design of the entrance to their planned residential units.
Castleberry said that no city funds were used in the roughly $200,000 project, though the development as a whole will be eligible for Tax Increment Financing if they reach certain sales tax goals after they are up and running. He said their contractor for the development Codaray Construction, who has an office in Ridgeland, subcontracted Precision Fab and Refurbishing out of Hattiesburg for the project.
“I want to thank the mayor and board for working with us to bring the Village to Madison,” Castleberry said. “I know the city has been looking for a feature like this for some time and we thought it fit well with our development.”
The Madison Mayor and Board of Aldermen in August approved the TIF plan for up to $2 million, though officials have said they likely will not tap into that much money. A subsequent decision from the board of supervisors brought the total government investment in The Village to $2.5 million.
Developers are projecting the new 18-acre, mixed-use development will create 120 permanent new jobs and generate annual retail sales of $16.25 million.