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Bike lane work to begin this spring

Construction along South Lamar to start in March

BY ALYSSA SCHNUGG

Staff Writer

Oxford residents living along the roads slated to get new bike lanes may see construction begin as early as March, and the Oxford Pathways Commission is looking for ways to let everyone know exactly when and where the lanes will be located.

Phase 2 of the Pathways Project was kicked off last week with the selection of D. Carroll Construction of Oxford, said Kevin McLeod with Elliott and Britt Engineering.

Details of Phase 2 were discussed during Monday’s meeting of the Oxford Pathways Commission.

Will Finn with D. Carroll Construction, the firm selected to build the bike lanes along several of the city’s roads with a high amount of pedestrians and bicyclists, said after an erosion plan is approved by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, construction on the first bike lane should start no later than March.

“It’s going to be a fun job to put together,” Finn said Monday. “We’re going to start on South Lamar close to Highway 7 and work from there up to Belk (Boulevard) and then we’ll move to Old Taylor Road and try to get that done while students are gone for the summer. And then we’ll move into North Lamar and Highway 334.”

Phase 2 is funded through an enhancement grant from MDOT and local matching dollars.

Staying informed

Finn asked the commission’s help in getting the word out to the community as to when and where construction will be taking place.

Assistant City Engineer Reanna Mayoral said letting residents know what’s going on is a goal for her department as well.

“One of the things we’re most sure about is making sure neighbors get a chance to hear from us before construction begins,” Mayoral said.

Some ideas discussed to help notify residents included putting up a flyer at each home describing the project with contact information for the city planning department and D. Carroll Construction, putting an interactive map on the city’s website and advertising in local newspapers.

Almost all of the bike lanes are being built on city rights-of-way, however, the construction could have some minor impact on some residents’ landscaping.

Approved by MDOT in the fall of 2010, the project is aimed at increasing non-vehicle transportation and recreation opportunities in Oxford by creating an interconnected grid of bike lanes, pedestrian sidewalks and multi-use paths.

Phase 1 consisted of building multi-use paths along Molly Barr Road and Old Taylor Road, including the conversion of the abandoned railroad tracks heading south toward Taylor. Phase 3 plans are still being discussed.

Phase 2 plans

The following projects are included as part of Phase 2 construction: — Construction of bike lanes along College Hill Road, proceeding past the McElroy intersection, then along Old Sardis Road ending at FNC Park.

— Construction of bike lanes along South Lamar from Frontage Road to the intersection of state Highway 7. South Lamar will have both full bike lanes and shallow lanes, or small striped lanes next to the sidewalk, with climbing lanes on uphill areas.

— Construction of lanes along a portion of Old Taylor Road, proceeding along Frontage Road, along South 18th and along Belk Drive.

— Construction of lanes along South 18th Street, proceeding down Bramlett Boulevard, and making a loop up Williams Avenue to North Lamar, around Highway 30 to Manor Drive, down Sisk Avenue back to Bramlett.

— Bike lanes along part of Hathorn Drive.

To see the design of phase two, visit: http://short.loupathways.org/p2mapj

Other actions

In other business Monday, the Oxford Pathways Commission: — Announced construction of the new walking/biking trails and BMX track at FNC Park are almost complete.

— Approved submitting applications to the national program, Walk Friendly Community, to be considered a walk-friendly community and to the League of American Bicyclist to apply for Bike Friendly Community designation.

— Discussed possible events for the upcoming Green Week, April 16-22 that included a bike rodeo at FNC and a “bike-in” at the Square with the goal of getting 500 cyclists on the Square at one time.

— Discussed Bike to Work and Bike to School Day activities.

Copyright © 2012 The Oxford Eagle. All Rights Reserved. 01/24/2012


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