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After Decades of Waiting, Parkway Comes to Clinton, MS

Wed May 03, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Maybelle G. Cagle

A concrete bridge that will have six distinctive arches is becoming the centerpiece of a $9.1-million parkway being constructed in the city of Clinton, MS.

Clinton is located 10 miles west of the state’s capitol city, Jackson.

Officials in Clinton awarded the bid for the 4-lane parkway in late 1999 to Key Constructors of Madison, MS.

The need for such a parkway to link north and south Clinton was discussed for decades before it became a reality. The 1.1-mile parkway is being funded with 80 percent ISTEA funds and 20 percent local funds from the sale of bonds.

“I’m very pleased where construction is at this point,” said Clinton Mayor Rosemary Aultman. Aultman said she first heard a reference to the need for such a parkway in 1964 while a high school student in Tupelo, MS.

Aultman praised Key Constructors for its commitment to the project. “They have helped us anticipate what we would need six to eight months ahead of schedule so we could go ahead and order materials,” she said.

The city has ordered 160,000 bricks to place on indentations in the six arches for the bridge, said Aultman. She said the bricks are being added to make the arches “aesthetically pleasing” and to blend in with the surrounding historical area. The bricks could be added as early as this summer, according to officials.

Project Manager David Trevathan said the arches are poured in place using 416 cubic meters (32 cu. yds.) of concrete per arch. “It takes three days to do an arch,” he said.

Some of the brick will be used for a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of College Street and Main Street, before the bridge.

Trevathan said constructing the parkway is “a very involved job. But,” he added, “it has been pretty much routine.”

One thing different about the project, said Aultman, is that it is occurring in “a fairly congested part of town.”

There have been several detours south of the bridge where workers are putting in sewer and water lines. Aultman foresees more detours as construction begins on the intersection for the south end of the project. “We want to minimize detours,” she added. Although there are detours, Key Constructors is maintaining access to businesses in the area such as the city’s Wal-Mart.

Trevathan said 35 workers are currently working on the parkway. Although rain has hampered the project, he does not anticipate any weekend work.

He estimated the parkway is about 30 percent completed. If work continues on schedule, the completion date is August, 2001. “We’ll be glad when it’s open,” said Aultman.

Key has eight subcontractors working on the project doing utility work and asphalt. The company, which began in 1975, specializes in bridges and heavy concrete. It is licensed to work in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Trevathan said the parkway is considered a large project for his company. It also has a $27-million interchange project is currently underway in Madison County near Jackson.

A variety of heavy equipment is being used on the Clinton project. Trevathan said the company owns its equipment, including three American 5299 cranes, a Cat 330 track excavator, a Cat 312B Cat track excavator, a John Deere 310D backhoe, a Case 850E bulldozer and a Cat 563 vibratory compactor.

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