Covington Council approves sidewalks, bike lanes for Clark Street

COVINGTON — The City Council agreed unanimously Monday night to increase its portion of funding for a transportation enhancement project on Clark Street.

Bids on the project, which will extend curb and gutter, bike lanes and sidewalks from a point near the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal to the Turner Lake roundabout, came in higher than the original construction estimate of $365,000.

Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon told the council that the initial bids were rejected by the state Department of Transportation as too high. He said that the city then reviewed the bids and found an error in the bid specifications.

New bids were sought, and the new low bid came in at $394,000. Since the DOT will contribute only $292,000 to the project, the city’s matching funds were required to be increased from $73,000 to $102,000.

City Manager Leigh Ann Knight said the city’s matching funds will come from 2005 special purpose local option sales tax revenues earmarked for paving projects.

“This is something that needs to be done; I just hate that it’s taken so long,” said Mayor Ronnie Johnston.

Bouchillon said the project should get underway sometime in January or February and be completed next year.