If it felt like the city had gathered members of the media together to discuss the rebuilding of Texas Street previously, it’s because that’s exactly what happened earlier this year.
However, concerns over supply chain issues delayed an official groundbreaking of the nearly $6 million project aimed at replacing water and sewer pipes and resurfacing the aging street.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson said contractor John G. Walton had asked the administration to hold off on the groundbreaking until Monday morning to allow them to secure the materials in advance of closing the street.
“We had hoped to have the groundbreaking sooner,” he said. “We had to postpone it to make sure we had piping in stock.”
Stimpson said every project the city is doing now is impacted in some way by supply chain issues.
The nine-block project, with a $5.5 million price tag, will take 18 to 24 months to complete. Mobile County, through its pay-as-you-go program, gave $3.5 million to the project, while the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS) contributed $2 million and the city chipped in $500,000.
Stimpson, who initially announced the project along with the late Councilman Levon Manzie, stressed the importance of the street to the deceased councilman.
“It’s about connectivity and trying to improve the quality of life for everyone in the city,” Stimpson said, noting the entire drainage system on the street had collapsed while the surface was marred by potholes and cracks.
District 2 Councilman William Carroll, who defeated Manzie after his death in September, told reporters the project cements the late councilman’s legacy.
“It’s always a pleasure to mention Levon Manzie,” he said. “This project is part of his legacy, especially since the issues here go back two decades.”
Carroll said the project is the start of an effort to revitalize an area of the city he remembers well from childhood in the Down the Bay area. He said he remembers roller skating and playing stickball on the street.
“It was a lifeblood for us,” he said. “We used to go all the way down to the river on Texas Street; maybe we even dropped a line in and did some fishing.”
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