Students, along with the rest of the university and Oxford community, who have been dealing with one-lane traffic on College Hill Road for the past few weeks can rest assured the project is nearing its end. The construction, which is part of Oxford’s Pathways Projects, will result in new bike paths on College Hill Road and is predicted to be finished by next week, according to Reanna G. Mayoral, assistant city engineer. Work began on the path in June with a six-week shutdown of traffic to replace a box culvert. “(Contractors) are hoping to have that section of College Hill, from Jackson Avenue to McElroy Drive, paved next week,” Mayoral said. These bike lanes are only one component of the city’s Pathways Projects, budgeted at a little over $2.5 million. City documents report that Bennett Construction of Oxford was awarded a $275,000 project funded through the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Program (STP), although the city is responsible for 20 percent of the costs. Additionally, D. Carroll Construction of Oxford was awarded a $2.5 million project, 80 percent of which is funded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation Enhancement Program. Oxford City Planner Tim Akers said the addition of the two bike lanes on College Hill will run to FNC Park. The city did not acquire property in constructing the bike lanes and conducted work on city-owned right of way. “It does look like (work) is (taking place on) people’s yards, but it is all being done on existing city property,” Mayoral said. The Pathways Commission, a volunteer organization made up of Ole Miss community members and Oxford residents, provided guidance to the city throughout the process. Pedestrian safety is the group’s top priority. In addition to the construction of the bike lanes, the city of Oxford is installing signs to alert motorists to the presence of cyclists. A construction schedule and maps of the Pathways Projects can be found at www.oxfordms.net/pathways-projects.
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