WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., today announced the award of a $5,351,155 grant to the Coast Transit Authority (CTA) to fund the final phase of construction for a bridge over U.S. 90/Beach Boulevard in downtown Gulfport. The project will connect Gulfport’s transit center, the Mississippi Aquarium, and Jones Park with an electric tram, pedestrian walkway, and bicycle path. In a related award, the Mississippi Department of Transportation will receive a $5,680,000 grant.
“I am a longtime supporter of the Gulfport tram and pedestrian bridge project, and I am pleased to see that it will now become a reality,” Wicker said. “This new bridge will enhance safety and the overall experience for visitors and residents. Once it is complete, this new downtown corridor will be a magnet for tourism and boost economic development. I will continue to work with our state and local leaders to support projects like these that are smart investments in the future of our communities.”
“The Tram Bridge is part of a dynamic transit plan that has the promise of making our coast more attractive to residents, tourists, and commerce. It is an example of how the state of Mississippi is working to incorporate effective bus systems to improve communities,” Hyde-Smith said.
“As economic development booms on the Gulf Coast, this grant will allow our Coast Transit Authority the ability to match our growing public transportation needs. Knowing that south Mississippi is expanding, I was glad to support this grant application and believe it will not only accommodate transportation demands but improve our facilities,” Palazzo said.
Once constructed, the multimodal bridge will allow CTA to operate rubber-tire open-air trams across U.S. 90, connecting the Gulfport Transit Center and the CTA transit stop in Jones Park. The bridge will link parking areas at the CTA transit center to Jones Park during special community events and activities.
The project will link downtown Gulfport, the transit center, Jones Park, and the beach, shortening travel times and improving safety and access for visitors.
The grant is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation will use another $5,680,000 grant from the Buses and Bus Facilities Program to support transportation improvements across the state.