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Town eager to get sidewalk work started

Wesson’s downtown area will soon undergo a makeover.

Mayor Alton Shaw said all that stands between the town and thenew sidewalks, for which it received a grant last year, is thego-ahead from the Mississippi Department of Transportation. OnceMDOT OKs the project, work will be under way.

“We’re still waiting for engineers to get clearance from DOT,and we’re just trying to get through all the steps necessary to getthe project started,” said Shaw. “We’re still a little ways offbecause the engineers can’t give an exact timeline because they arewaiting on MDOT.”

The team of Jeff Knight of Williford Gearhart & Knight, TownPlanning and Development Director Wayne Mansfield and architect SamKaye of Mississippi Main Street digitally morphed a computerizedpossible look for the new sidewalks, which at this point will bebrick, much like some of the older sidewalks in the area.

“We’re going to match up what color will look the best,” Shawsaid. “The Main Street architect has done a few computer models ofthe area.”

Shaw said the main sidewalks under construction will be the oneson Highway 51 in front of Ace Hardware and the cafe area, as wellas the ones on Spring Street from City Hall down to TrustmarkBank.

The project is to accommodate Wesson’s growth through recentyears. Officials decided last year to begin to revamp the downtownas well as the sidewalks.

Shaw said he can’t say yet how much the project will cost as thetown is working to make sure that any money that can be saved willbe.

“The cost depends,” he said. “A lot of it can be done as in-kindlabor.”

Another part of the project is a walking trail connectingdowntown Wesson to the Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus inorder to increase foot traffic and cut down on driving traffic inthe short distance between the two. Shaw said that sidewalk willnot be brick like the others, but will be a little wider than anormal sidewalk.

Shaw said town officials are excited about the project, and lookforward to advertising for bids on the project.

“It’s in MDOT’s hands at this point,” he said. “But we’re eagerto get started.”