Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being put back into the city of West Point by allowing Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to repair the bridge on Highway 50, money that may be used for other street projects.
The original plan would have allowed contractors to bid on the bridge, and estimated engineering costs were expected to be between $600,000 and $900,000. The West Point Board of Mayor and Selectmen voted in their November meeting to go with Tombigbee. Through a request from the Clay County Board of Supervisors, Tombigbee took on the bridge project, which will cost between $300,000 and $350,000 upon completion.
Superintendent of the Electric and Water Department Dwight Prisock said the savings are significant.
“We expect it’s going to save $300,000 to $400,000 with the Tombigbee people doing the work for us,” Prisock said.
With the money saved, Prisock said much needed repairs to other streets in the city can be completed, and although it may take some time, people will appreciate the work after it has been done.
“We believe they’re going to save enough money to pave between a mile and a mile and a half of additional streets,” Prisock said. “It’s a wait and it’s an inconvenience to people, but if we can get another mile to a mile and a half of street paved, it’ll be worth the wait.”
Randy Jones, City Administrator, said having Tombigbee do the project is saving the city money in more ways than one.
“Tombigbee has offered to remove the old bridge and drive pilings for us at no cost to the city,” Jones said. “As far as having to spend street bond money, there will be no cost to taxpayers from this project.”
Jones said out of the $1.2 million the city had for bridge and road repair, there should be $1 million left for road resurfacing and repair. He said he’s more optimistic than pessimistic that they city is staying within it’s budget for bridges and roads. A list of streets to be bid on for repairs has been submitted to the city who will make decisions on what streets will be repaired first. Jones said the Tombigbee crew is doing an excellent job and the bridge could be ready in the next six weeks.
“We’re really pleased to have them here,” Jones said. “They’re doing an excellent job of making sure this is done right for us.”