WASHINGTON – Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker today announced that the Department of Transportation has released more than $1.8 million for highway projects in Lee County and on the Gulf Coast. Funding for the grants, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, was provided through the Fiscal Year 2008 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.
Senator Cochran said: “These funds are targeted to two of the parts of our state most in need of infrastructure improvements. Toyota and its suppliers will bring increased traffic to Northeast Mississippi, and this federal assistance will help to alleviate congestion around one of Tupelo’s busiest areas. Additionally, as South Mississippi continues to rebuild following Hurricane Katrina, these funds will provide greater access to the Gulf Coast while also increasing evacuation capacity.”
Senator Wicker added: “Updating Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure is a vital part of continuing economic growth and increasing safety in our state. The Major Thoroughfare Project is helping relieve congestion and move traffic more efficiently in Tupelo, while also creating additional economic development opportunities throughout Northeast Mississippi. Additionally, these federal dollars will help create a new route for South Mississippians that will help relieve traffic congestion and add another evacuation option during emergencies.”
Funds have been awarded for:
Tupelo Thoroughfare Corridor: $905,520 on the proposed Barnes Crossing Road at the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lee County. The project is within Natchez Trace National Park and will provide access to the Natchez Trace Parkway.
SR 601 - Harrison and Stone Counties: $905,520 for the environmental study, design and construction of approximately 30 miles of new highway parallel to US 49 (starting at I-10, adjoining at or near Wiggins). This new route will provide a safer and more streamlined route for coast residents, coast visitors, and freight traffic originating from the Port Gulfport to exit the coast area. Additionally, in the event of a hurricane, it provides another emergency route.