WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Congressmen Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., today applauded the award of more than $21 million for infrastructure improvements to Mississippi bridges and operating assistance for passenger rail. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao officially announced the grants today during her remarks at the Coastal Region Transportation Summit in Biloxi.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved $16.8 million in in Competitive Highway Bridge Program grants to replace 12 bridges in Attala, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Marion, Tallahatchie, Walthall, and Yalobusha counties. DOT also announced a $4.3 million Restoration and Enhancement grant for the Southern Rail Commission to support the return of passenger rail service from New Orleans, La., to Mobile, Ala.
“Replacing bridges and restoring Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast are among the most important transportation priorities for Mississippi,” Wicker said. “I appreciate Secretary Chao’s visit to Mississippi and the Department of Transportation for making these funds available. These grants will go a long way in strengthening our state’s transportation network.”
“The bridge program grants will allow us to begin chipping away at the backlog of bridge replacements needed in Mississippi. Economic growth and basic quality of life in our state require better infrastructure. We’ll keep working for additional appropriations specifically for bridge replacement and rehabilitation,” Hyde-Smith said. “I’m grateful to Secretary Chao for these Department of Transportation investments in bridges and rail service in Mississippi.”
“I am grateful for both Secretary Chao’s and President Trump’s commitment to improving Mississippi’s infrastructure through smart federal investments. These grants will be used for major improvements to our transportation needs that will benefit Mississippi’s infrastructure for years to come,” Palazzo.
“I join my colleagues in thanking Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation for making these investments in our great state,” Guest said. “A viable and efficient transportation infrastructure system is a critical part of growing Mississippi’s economy, and these grants will help us build a more prosperous future for the people of our state.”