Austin Blair Park, looking northeast, at intersection of Greenwood Avenue, Greenwood Place and West Wilkins Street. (City of Jackson photo)
The City of Jackson has announced a massive two-phase road construction project will begin next week in the Austin Blair Park/Mt. Evergreen Cemetery neighborhood south of downtown. Construction crews will replace water mains, reconstruct intersections, resurface streets, and build a new traffic circle around Austin Blair Park.
Work will first begin at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and W. Morrell Street. Existing pavement will be removed so an aging water main under the intersection can be replaced. Once that work is complete, the intersection will receive new pavement, curbs and sidewalks, and improved traffic signals. This area will be closed to through traffic during construction, which is expected to last until mid-August. This is a major access point to the downtown area and drivers are advised to seek alternate routes and follow posted detours.
Once work at that intersection is complete, crews will move north to replace water mains and resurface streets on Greenwood Avenue and S. Jackson Street up to W. Franklin Street. This work will also include constructing a new traffic circle surrounding Austin Blair Park. The traffic circle is being added to the area to increase traffic flow in and out of downtown, and to make the surrounding intersections safer. This phase of the construction is expected to wrap up in mid-November.
Street surfaces on Greenwood Avenue and W. Morrell Street have been in poor condition for several years. Assistant City Engineer Troy White says the Engineering Division is looking forward to improving this area of the city. “Work on Greenwood and the traffic circle will not begin until the first phase is complete. Reconstructing Greenwood and Morrell is the first priority so traffic patterns and school bus routes will not be impacted for long periods of time,” White said.
The City of Jackson will be providing updates on the construction to neighborhood residents and businesses throughout the project.
While the city currently has roundabouts, this will be the first traffic circle in Jackson. There are differences between roundabouts and traffic circles, primarily pedestrian traffic is allowed to cross traffic circles, in this case to access Austin Blair Park.
The project is scheduled for completion in mid-November 2019.