LAUREL, MS (October 7, 2021)- The City of Laurel has agreed to close all vehicular traffic and parking on the 500 Block of Central Avenue to allow Suez to complete their installation of the water line there. Suez is a private company that the city has contracted to provide water and sewer maintenance. The area will close on Sunday, October 17th at 5:00 a.m. but will reopen on Thursday, October 21st at 3:30 p.m. The area will still be open to foot traffic and pedestrians will still be able to shop and tour the area. Pedestrian cross-overs will remain in place throughout this time.
Landlords and business owners are encouraged to notify their renters and patrons that the road will be closed to vehicular, but not foot, traffic.
The closure is part of a larger construction project intended to replace water and sewer lines in the area, open the end of the street into a roundabout, and replace the paving bricks that were installed there in the 1970s during an urban renewal project. The brick pavers were only intended to be used by pedestrians. However, since the road has been opened up to vehicular traffic, it has been required to bear the weight of vehicles, which it was not intended to do. Because of this, the condition of the road has deteriorated and is in need of repair. Neither the surface of the road, nor the water lines have been replaced since the 1970s. The project will also open up the 500 Block of Central Avenue to two-way traffic.
Closing the road will provide Suez the opportunity to expedite the completion of the water line installation. This is a step forward toward completing the entire project, which has slowed due to rain delays including those caused by Hurricane Ida.
Albritton Construction will continue to work in the roundabout area to prepare the roadway subgrade. Additionally, curb, gutter, and sidewalk work will begin during this time near Magnolia State Bank and Bella Bella. The next week, upon the completion of the waterline, curb, gutter, sidewalk, and roadway subgrade work will begin on the west end of Central Avenue.
“We continue to ask, especially the business owners, for your patience and understanding. We realize it is both an inconvenience and a hardship, but we are attempting to complete the project as soon as humanly possible,” Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee explained.
The entire project is expected to be completed early next year.