Plans unveiled for Main Street water infrastructure

Main Street water infrastructure construction is set to begin in January of 2023.

Main Street water infrastructure construction is set to start in January and will take about nine months to complete.

Starkville Utilities and Kimley-Horn & Associates unveiled the plans at an open house two weeks ago. Kimley-Horn is the civil engineering team, and Starkville Utilities owns the project.

Mary Williams, capital projects manager for Starkville Utilities, said contracting bids have started, and the team will award a bid to a construction company on Dec. 6. 

Four downtown business owners attended the open house. Edward Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities, spoke to the group and answered questions.  

“We don’t have the full picture right now,” Kemp said. “The other thing that we don’t know right now is how available materials are, so that might delay the start in January, depending on how quickly they can get the materials.”

Williams mentioned traffic impacts. 

“Main Street will be one way, one lane of traffic at some point just based on how they have to build it, and then the same for Lampkin (Street),” Williams said.

Kemp said the water supply for Main Street businesses will have little disruption, but Lampkin Street may be more affected. 

“The goal is to limit the amount of disruption of the street, parking, lanes,” Kemp said. 

Kemp said there are three main sewer improvement spots: behind Starkville Café, the alley by the police department and the alley and parking lot by the former Boardtown Trading Post. 

Although the crowd was small, the attendees were inquisitive and displayed excitement for the project. 

Steve Langston, president of Sullivan’s Office Supply downtown, mentioned a distinct sewer odor by the Doodlebugs boutique. 

“From time to time, after rain, (the drain) would have a big sewer smell,” Langston said. “The city used to come by and pour bottles of industrial perfume down in it.” 

Mayor Lynn Spruill said she and the planning team had just spoken about the odor issue. She said the storm and sewer drains “might have gotten mixed up.” 

The city will look into the storm drain lines when constructing the streetscape project. Kemp said the city will improve drains and move some drain locations during that time.

Kemp said the city had not replaced the water lines from Jackson to Montgomery streets in over 15 years, and the area needs repairs.

The contractors will complete the water and sewer infrastructure before the streetscape project begins.

For questions and updates on the construction, email downtownwater@starkvilleutilities.com.

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