Mayor's Report

Oct 23

May Blvd Pedestrian Bridge Update

Posted on October 23, 2020 at 1:26 PM by Darren Musselwhite

Recently, the design of this bridge was completed by UrbanArch Associates, PC.  The City and UrbanArch have worked extensively this year to accomplish the goals of the City in preparation for building a beautiful bridge that will connect the largest pedestrian path in Southaven and Desoto County’s history.  They did an incredible job and I’m happy to display photos of the final design to our citizens!

Timelines on all projects have been affected by the challenges of 2020, but this bridge is now slated to bid before the end of this year with construction starting in January, 2021.  The construction is projected to be completed in September, 2021.  Recent supply chain challenges have affected the cost of materials which will obviously affect the total cost of construction, so our adjusted pre-bid estimate is $1.9 million.

Please read all details below from my original post last year.

This bridge will be iconic and pay huge dividends to our city!

Original Post on 11/20/2019…

Connecting the paths…

As we continue forward with our plan to make our city more pedestrian friendly, we have the opportunity to complete potentially the largest pedestrian route in Desoto County’s history.  Several years ago, the City received an alternative transportation grant from MDOT for a 10-ft.-wide multi-use trail designed to connect Central and Snowden Grove Parks. This trail will route from Central Park southward on Tchulahoma to May Blvd. and will finally be under construction in 2020.  A few years later in 2014, the City made application for federal Metropolitan Planning Organization funding assistance for another 10-ft.-wide multi-use trail that routes throughout Snowden Grove Park.  These funds were received this year and this trail is currently under construction with completion projected by year-end.  In 2017, pedestrian lanes were added throughout Central Park with a crossing over Swinnea Road connecting to lanes added along Clarington Drive to Airways Blvd. near Baptist-Desoto Hospital.  The only connecting pieces needed to complete this route are May Blvd. and a safe way to cross Goodman and Getwell Roads.  Since MDOT has authority on Goodman because it is a state highway, they will make traffic adjustments there and the City is designing a bridge to be built over Getwell at May Blvd. to connect all of these routes.

Traffic safety and congestion mitigation…

Traffic safety and congestion mitigation are major concerns on Getwell, in general, but will become more so as the development at Silo Square and surrounding areas progresses.  The traditional town square there will attract many pedestrians naturally creating a serious vehicle congestion problem when stopped while pedestrians cross Getwell to get to concerts and other park events.   The bridge will resolve this problem.

An economic attraction…

Our city is far behind many in our country regarding pedestrian routes.  Many citizens enjoy the quality of life afforded by walkable communities.  This bridge and connecting routes will move us forward tremendously with this type of amenity.  Connecting the pending business developments that include retail, restaurants, and hotels on both the east and west sides of Getwell with park events at Snowden Grove will create an entertainment district that our city has never had.  All of this improves the economic demand of our city resulting in economic growth and benefits that will pay dividends to all of our citizens for many years in the future.  More specifically, we envision this bridge to become iconic along with Snowden Grove Park and become a great marketing tool to increase tourism draw, and again, the resulting economic benefits that follow.

This bridge is currently in the design stage with proposed features similar to the ones at Vanderbilt University, the University of Missouri, and Foley, Alabama and will be built in compliance with federal safety standards for the utmost safety of both pedestrians and motor vehicles.  It will be funded as part of a capital improvement plan with a general obligations bond.  In 2020, 2021, and 2022, the City will have satisfied major debt obligations with one of the most significant being the original debt used to build Snowden Grove Park in 1999.  Total debt-service (payment) reductions equate to approximately $2.6 million annually.  Patience and sound financial management has put our city in the position to continue leveraging revenue to invest in our city’s future while still reducing debt and continuing to improve our net financial position.  Projected pre-bid construction cost estimates range between $1.2 and $1.6 million.  Construction is projected to begin in the third quarter of 2020. 

May Blvd Pedestrian Bridge Front View
May Blvd Pedestrian Bridge Side View

Sep 09

Central to Snowden Grove Multi-Use Trail

Posted on September 9, 2020 at 10:30 AM by Melitta Duncan

Recently, our Board of Aldermen rewarded the lowest bid to J.M. Duncan, Inc. in the amount of $1,371,981.65 to complete this outstanding pedestrian project.  This 10-ft. wide multi-use trail will eventually connect Central Park and Snowden Grove Park as well as bike/pedestrian lanes on Clarington Drive west of Central Park making it the longest pedestrian path in Desoto County.  The trail will route southward down Tchulahoma to May Blvd, then east towards Getwell.  It also includes another leg from Central Parkway northward on Getwell to Nail Rd.

Our City joined the Greenprint 2040 plan for the entire Memphis-Metro in 2015 and has aggressively moved our city forward in becoming more pedestrian-friendly.  Earlier this year, construction was completed on the Snowden Grove Pedestrian Project which added another 10-ft. wide multi-use trail throughout Snowden Grove Park.  The May Blvd Pedestrian Bridge is currently being designed which will be the connecting piece to both of these two projects.  Pedestrian-friendly cities are attractive to many economic developments and will improve our future economic opportunities.

This project is funded by an 80/20 Co-Op Alternative Transportation Grant by MDOT awarded to Southaven.   MDOT will also provide traffic-calming amendments to Goodman Rd. at the Tchulahoma path crossing.  Construction has already begun on this project with completion projected by year-end.
Trail 1
Trail 2

Aug 05

Artificial Turf at Snowden Grove and Greenbrook Parks

Posted on August 5, 2020 at 9:09 AM by Darren Musselwhite

After a lengthy research period, the City recently awarded a bid to replace the natural playing surfaces of the infields and foul lines for all 25 baseball and softball fields at Snowden Grove and Greenbrook Parks with artificial turf.  FieldTurf Inc., who has a resume that includes work for many professional and college stadiums, has already begun construction on this $5,583,310.13 project, which will provide the most modern technology available in artificial playing surfaces.  Specifically, this turf has the most advanced technology for making the speed and bounce of a batted ball like natural surfaces as well as a cooling technology to minimize the drastic heat difference with artificial turf.

For many years, Snowden Grove and Greenbrook Parks have set the standard for youth baseball and softball facilities.  The addition of “turf” will continue to make our city the top choice in youth sports venues for many years to come.  This is purely a business decision by the City.  Most competing parks in our region have already converted to turf and we must give our customers what they want.  Tourism is a major component of our economic success with baseball and softball producing approximately $12 million annually in total dollars spent in our city and total economic impact of approximately $25 million annually.  Replacing the natural infields will save approximately $216,000 annually in labor costs for maintenance and add an estimated $350,000 annually in direct revenue to the City by eliminating tournament rain-outs and lost revenues from teams changing venues due to a rainy forecast.  Obviously, eliminating these rain-outs adds tremendously to the indirect economic benefits also by keeping the teams coming to our city and patronizing our businesses. Additionally, as with all of our park amenities, this new turf will add enjoyment for our recreational league players as well.

 This project is projected to be finished before the first tournaments in March, 2021.  Go ahead and get ready to book Snowden Grove and Greenbrook Parks for your tourneys in 2021!