An ongoing Oktibbeha County project took a big step forward Friday morning, with the opening of bids for work on Longview Road.
The county received seven bids for the project, which has been underway in some fashion since 2007. The project will see Longview Road paved. This step follows preparations, including the repair of bridges and the pavement of right-of-ways. The lowest bid was $2,212,426.10
from Phillips Contracting Company based in Columbus. Other bids received were $2,328,481.63 from the A.E. Boyer Company, $3,252,292 from Ausbern Construction $2,284,444.19 from CornerstoneCivil Contracting and $2,736,511.88 from Malouf Construction. A bid from Cook and Son was rejected unopened for improper labeling. The preliminary estimate for the project was $2,038,636.93.
The lowest and best bid is scheduled to go before the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors at its next meeting on June 24.
“We’ve had a good team together this term, and I can’t say I did everything, but I certainly played my part in countless meetings and discussions with state officials and people that had the ability to influence this project,” said District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery.
Montgomery also acknowledged the work of several others including District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller, County Engineer Clyde Pritchard and former Oktibbeha County Administrator Don Posey, who died in January. He said much of the work went on behind the scenes to reach this point.
“I’m anxious to see it done,” Montgomery said. “I know that the people on this road are. People in the Longview community, people that pass through there, a lot of times visitors that are coming from the west go right down Highway 12 because they can’t go down Longview Road because it’s gravel. Now this is just another way in and a way out for the city of Starkville and campus to alleviate some of the ongoing traffic on Highway 12.”
Miller also emphasized the long road to the bid opening.
“Prior to even getting to this point the County had already spent S1.3 million in preparation,” Miller said. “This was repairing the bridges, easements and widening the road.”
She said in 2015, both her and Montgomery allocated 10% of their State Aid road funds, or $250,000 each toward the project. Also, $750,000 of BP relief funds went toward the project. She emphasized that the project was funded without raising taxes.
“It looks like we’re about to build the road,” Miller said.
Longview area resident Peggy Rogers was present at the bid opening with several other Longview residents. Throughout the process, Rogers has been vocal in her support, and has come before the board several times to push for the project.
“I’m ecstatic to see that we’re a step closer to the project that’s been on the ground for more than 25 years,” Rogers said. “Of course, we want to thank the people of Longview Road and all the elected officials that have helped us along the way. Without them, this project wouldn’t have happened and for that, we’re grateful.“