THOMASVILLE, Ga. — After hearing from a number of West Jackson Street merchants and other supporters of a two-block streetscape, Thomasville City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a $1.7 million bid on the project.

The bid approved — $1.76 million submitted by CCH Construction of Thomasville — was one of two bids received. The other bid was for $1.79 million submitted by Flint River Construction Services Inc. of Albany.

The bid includes furnishing all labor, material and equipment and performing all work required to construct the streetscape between Madison Street and Remington Avenue.

Primary work includes:

• New sidewalks

• A raised pedestrian intersection at West Jackson and Stevens streets

• New landscaping and irrigation

• Replacing electric poles with pedestrian lights

• Adjustment of curb height in the 200 block

• Construction of a commemorative wall at West Jackson and Stevens at the corner of a public parking lot

Work is to be completed within 210 calendar days. Construction is expected to begin on May 1 on the project, also known as The Bottom Streetscape Project.

Cadence Kidwell, owner of a West Jackson business, told the council prior to the vote she bought her building five years ago. The structure's paint was peeling, it rained inside the building and in the rear was a mud hole, Kidwell said, describing the former state of the building that now houses Fuzzy Goat, her knitting and gift store.

Said Eddie Waldrep, a West Jackson business owner, "There's been a lot of homework done on this project."

Jack Hadley told the council the streetscape would help identify the area and reflect on people who established businesses there in the 1930s and '40s, when primarily black-owned businesses were in the 200 and 300 blocks.

Alston Watt pointed out investments in the West Jackson area — Boys & Girls Club, Ritz Amphitheater, Harper Elementary School improvements.

Council member David Hufstetler made the motion to approve the bid, with a second from Council member Jay Flowers.

The quick, unanimous vote was followed by an approving round of applause from the audience.

Scott Chastain, a Thomasville Planning and Zoning Commission member, said the West Jackson project sets a new bar in economic development.

"Let's hit the ball and make this happen," Chastain said.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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