Wicker & Cochran Report $17.8 Million for Three-County Transportation Improvement Initiative

Claiborne, Franklin & Jefferson Counties Win Federal Support to Improve Roadways for Economic Growth

September 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced the award of $17.8 million in federal transportation funding for a collaborative initiative to support job growth by improving roadways in three Southwest Mississippi counties.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $17.8 million TIGER VI grant application submitted by Claiborne County, along with Franklin and Jefferson counties and Alcorn State University.  The funding will support the collaborative Three-County Roadway Improvements Program (TRI-Mississippi) to undertake critical roadway repairs to improve transportation reliability and safety in this rural area.

Earlier this year, Wicker and Cochran issued letters to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of the TRI-Mississippi grant application.

“This grant will have a tremendous impact on residents and travelers in Claiborne, Franklin, and Jefferson counties,” Wicker said.  “Improving these transportation routes is important to public safety and helps support economic growth in the region.”

“This grant is an investment in these rural counties and the county collector road system on which its economic vitality is based,” Cochran said.  “The demand for transportation infrastructure funding is intense and credit goes to this Mississippi collaboration for demonstrating to the U.S. Department of Transportation that it has a workable plan to benefit public safety and economic growth.”

The TIGER VI funding will improve substandard roads and aging, deteriorating bridges within the region.  The work will improve access to regional employment centers, including Alcorn State University.  It will also involve the rehabilitation of nuclear evacuation routes from the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station.

The TIGER VI Discretionary Grants Program is highly competitive, with funding provided to transportation projects that will make significant transportation improvements to a region or community.  The program is designed to give the Transportation Department more flexibility in supporting projects sought by state and local officials, who best understand local needs.  Applications must use economic analysis to prove that their projects justify their costs.  The program is funded through annual congressional appropriations.