JACKSON, Miss. (March 16, 2016) — For helping transform the City of Jackson’s main downtown street into a more pedestrian- and business-friendly corridor, Neel-Schaffer, Inc., was honored by the Mississippi chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/MS).
Neel-Schaffer received the 2016 Engineering Excellence Honor Award for its design and program management work on the “Capitol Street Renaissance” project that converted an eight-block stretch of Capitol Street from one-way to two-way traffic. Neel-Schaffer helped secure funding, designed the project, and then provided construction engineering and inspection services.
Jackson is one of many American cities that lost most of its downtown restaurants, shops, and residents to the suburbs in the 1970s and ’80s.
The City is now trying to reverse that trend, starting with this massive makeover of the Capitol Street corridor. Neel-Schaffer managed a program that included funding, design, and construction engineering services for the $6.2 million Phase 1 project that transformed Capitol Street to a two-lane, two-way street that includes three new roundabouts, improved, widened and ADA-compliant sidewalks, new landscaping, and other traffic-calming features that City officials hope make the corridor more receptive for pedestrians, bicycles, businesses, and residents.
Neel-Schaffer worked hand-in-hand with contractor Eutaw Construction, overcoming several obstacles during the 20-month construction period. Construction started on July 1, 2013, and it was completed in March 2015.
This transformation was more than 10 years in the making, and Neel-Schaffer was involved from the beginning, from helping secure funding, to providing design and construction management services. Neel-Schaffer helped accelerate the LPA design process, and through careful monitoring of the unit-priced contract, and timely decision-making, Neel-Schaffer management helped bring the project in under budget by $1.3 million.