Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba yesterday announced the commencement of the re-pavement of Bailey Avenue from Bailey Avenue Bridge to Mayes Street as part of the 2020 paving-season projects.
Standing with Kathleen Grigsby, Jackson Public Schools’ assistant superintendent of elementary schools (Division 1), the mayor noted the impact the repaving will have on the lives of the students of Walton Elementary School located on the street.
"We want to make sure that we take care of the infrastructure around the assets that are most important to us, and there are no more valuable assets than our students," Lumumba said at the press conference. "We are excited not only to see a street-resurfacing project that will lead to a better quality of life but (also the impact as) they return to school, driving on school buses or in private vehicles to the learning environment."
"For years, we have seen the pothole report (from) across the city. We want you to know how your city is tackling longstanding infrastructure issues in the city," Lumumba said. "This project is important not only for the community off of Bailey Avenue, (but) it is (also) important for how we are tackling infrastructure goals."
The administration chose Bailey Avenue, Lumumba said, to continue with the work started last year along the street, and he projected completion of the project within 60 days.
"This is also picking up what we started last paving season on the (other) side of the bridge on Bailey Avenue," he said. "We are making certain that the projects we are doing have continuity, that we are not just choosing things with no rhyme or reason associated with it."
He said future projects will encompass North Gallatin Street, Medgar Evers Boulevard and Ellis Avenue, all funded by the 1% Sales Tax Commission. "We are excited about what’s taking place, and we look forward to the continued success in addressing our infrastructure," he added.
"I along with the principal of Walton Elementary School, Zackery Hodge, are grateful that when the students return in January, they will come to better infrastructure, and when they get off the buses they will be able to get off on dry land and a haven," Grigsby said. "I just want to take a few moments to express appreciation (of) both the school district (and) the school."
Lumumba addressed the accumulated infrastructure problems in the city, indicating the limitations of his administration in handling them.
"I know that we have crumbling infrastructure all across this city, and I recognize that I will not be able to accomplish all the infrastructure needs that we have," he said. "We have a quickly deteriorating infrastructure under the subsurface, dealing with our pipes, sewer. We are continuing to look at the way that we fix our entire system (to) address those other needs that the residents have."
Email story tips to city/county reporter Kayode Crown at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @kayodecrown.