Downtown Area Now Served by New and Improved Underground Utilities

Upgraded water and sewer systems prepare Starkville for the future

Starkville Utilities’ recent completion of the Main-Lampkin upgrade project not only improved water and sewer services for customers in the area but also paved the way to a vibrant, inviting future for downtown Starkville.

“The downtown area is now served by a modern, resilient utility system with greater capacity to serve current needs and future growth,” said Mary Williams, Starkville Utilities capital projects manager. “It also set the stage for upcoming street, sidewalk and landscaping improvements that will make Main Street more accessible and safer for pedestrians.”

Crews began working in early summer 2023 to install new water mains and replace and upgrade sewer components in the downtown corridor. In addition to better service and reliability, new water lines are designed to provide higher pressure along with improved fire protection.

The city funded the approximately $2.8 million capital improvement project with utility department capital funds. While expenditures closely followed the original budget, increases were necessary to complete new line connections on the boundary of the project area.

“There were cases where we weren’t aware of connections on old lines because they weren’t on the maps, which is not unexpected with an older system,” Williams said. “In the process, we were able to update our downtown system maps to reflect all of our underground infrastructure. Having accurate maps will also benefit future upgrade and maintenance activities.”

Much of the former construction zone in the heart of Starkville now gleams with freshly paved and striped streets. In preparation for the upcoming streetscape project, paving of Main Street will be completed once streetscaping is complete.

Because the work involved extensive excavations, Starkville Utilities used emails and social media to proactively communicate with downtown stakeholders and keep them informed about temporary traffic and parking impacts.

“We did our best to minimize disruptions to area businesses and appreciate our customers’ patience and cooperation throughout the project,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “It was understood that once the work was complete, the transformation would be well worth it for the downtown area and the city as a whole. The upgrade was an investment in the future that will benefit Starkville for years to come.”

Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.

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