Residents weigh in on Locksley Way path

Neel Schaefer engineer Saunders Ramsey, bottom left, shows plans for the upcoming Locksley Way Multi-Use Project to representatives from Oktibbeha County, the City of Starkville and MSU. The project is funded by a $795,360 TAP grant with a 20 percent match split between the county, city and university. (submitted photo)
Staff Writer

Starkville citizens got a chance to have their questions about the planned Locksley Way multi-use path answered Thursday evening.

The public meeting for the project was held at The Mill and drew several citizens from along the path’s planned route, in addition to officials from Oktibbeha County, the City of Starkville and Mississippi State University.

Construction will be funded by a $795,360 Federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant, with a 20 percent match split among Oktibbeha County, the City of Starkville and MSU.

“It just gives an opportunity for the public to come out and take a look at the plans and really understand at a little bit more detailed level what we’re actually going to construct, ” said Neel Schaefer engineer Saunders Ramsey.

Ramsey said citizens who came had the opportunity to discuss potential positive and negative effects of the project with him and other Neel Schaefer engineers.

“We’ll get those comments on the record prior to proceeding with finalizing design,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey added that a public meeting was required for the project, because of the public money involved.

Starkville resident Mark Lilly, who lives in a subdivision along the planned route, voiced his support.

“We spend a lot of time going to Mississippi State, whether it’s for football or baseball, so we’re looking forward to using this to get to campus,” Lilly said. “We do a lot of walking on that street without the sidewalk, so we’re very excited about it.”

The planned route connects to the existing sidewalk at McKee Park and runs down Locksley Way, crossing South Montgomery Street and continuing on Blackjack Road to Stone Boulevard near the ongoing South Entrance Road Project.

“I think it’s a good project,” said MSU landscape architecture major Clif Rodgers. ”It’s a necessity for the town to grow the way they want it to and to connect Starkville and campus together seamlessly.”

Ward 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller, who brought the project to a vote early in her time on the board, told the SDN that it was the last TAP grant project before the program ended due to budget cuts.

Design is expected to be complete this fall, with the project going out for bid in spring 2018. Completion is anticipated for fall 2018.