WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Representatives Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., today announced the award of $33.1 million in federal grant funding for road improvements in Gulfport and Starkville. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide a $20.46 million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to assist with construction of a new roadway and overpass in Gulfport and another $12.66 million to support road improvements along MS Highway 182/MLK Drive in Starkville.
“The grants announced today will support the completion of two high-priority projects in Mississippi that will improve safety and enhance access to important economic centers,” Wicker said. “I thank Secretary Elaine Chao and the Department of Transportation for recognizing the importance of these projects, which will benefit Mississippians.”
“BUILD grants are highly competitive. Gulfport and Starkville will benefit from federal funding that will help them continue their economic growth through transportation, infrastructure, and safety improvements,” Hyde-Smith said. “We’ll keep working as a delegation to promote Mississippi communities as they work on infrastructure projects.”
“I was proud to support this BUILD grant application and continue the progress of economic development for the city of Gulfport,” Palazzo said. “This funding will allow for improved infrastructure on the Gulf Coast and better serve south Mississippi’s transportation needs with a safe and reliable multi-modal transportation system.”
“The announcement of this grant for Starkville and Oktibbeha County is encouraging news and I was grateful for the opportunity to support this much-needed project,” Guest said. “This funding will help improve vehicular, pedestrian, and bike travel while providing more broadband access to residents, students, visitors, and businesses. The addition of this infrastructure will help revitalize parts of Starkville and bring even more modern technology and business opportunity to our district.”
The $20.46 million grant to the City of Gulfport will support the addition of nearly two miles of new roadway to connect Daniel Boulevard to existing commercial centers along Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 49, and Airport Road. The project, which is expected to cost a total of $32.17 million, would include new lighting, storm drain improvements, roundabouts, and multi-modal paths. The city expects the project would encourage future development and provide critical safety enhancements along an important economic corridor.
The $12.66 million grant to the City of Starkville will support the revitalization of 1.4 miles of roadway along Mississippi Highway 182/MLK Drive near downtown Starkville. The overall $18.32 million project will revitalize a culturally-significant minority business district and include new pedestrian walks and crossings, safety and drainage improvements, high-speed broadband infrastructure, and other enhancements to increase safety and support economic development.