Wicker Enthusiastic About Mississippi's Growth

Roads, Ports, And Rail Create New Opportunity

February 26, 2024

All over Mississippi, teams are making progress on transportation projects to strengthen our economy. And because of our business-friendly laws, these projects will lead to even more growth. Bridge construction, airport renovations, road repairs, and port improvements increase safety, boost tourism, and support local jobs.

Mississippi Moves By Land, Air, and Sea 

For several years, I have worked with local leaders to plan and then build a new bridge in Gulfport. This month, we cut the ribbon and celebrated the completion of this long-awaited project.

The bridge carries visitors and residents over Highway 90 for easy access to the gulf, the Mississippi Aquarium, and parking centers. Travelers can walk, bike, or ride a tram across the overpass as it connects downtown Gulfport with Jones Park and the beach. It will be a tourism magnet and marks yet another step forward for the community, following Amtrak’s commitment to restart service through Gulfport and along the coast.

A few hours north, Jackson and Meridian recently welcomed federal funding to improve their airports. Passengers in Jackson will enjoy a better experience when old escalators, elevators, and boarding bridges are replaced. The city of Meridian is planning a new terminal and access road. I negotiated the legislation that created this airport modernization initiative. When completed, these upgrades will increase airline options and attract future investment.

The Mississippi Delta will also benefit from new projects. Last year, I urged the U.S. Transportation Department to help rehabilitate the section of Highway 49 that runs between Bentonia and Yazoo City. I was pleased when they did, announcing a grant to repair the road. This portion of Highway 49 brings traffic to Yazoo City, which proudly calls itself the Gateway to the Delta. Fixing that corridor will connect that entire region to greater commerce.

Improvements at the Port of Rosedale will also boost the economy of the Delta. Today, the port’s conveyor belts are not large enough to handle some incoming shipments. New funding will repair and expand this equipment so more ships can load and unload in Rosedale. The investment will also allow the port to connect to train systems once rail service is restored. All of this will increase use of the port, making business more predictable and allowing residents to count on the flow of trade.

The Best Is Yet To Come

In Congress, I partner with Mississippi’s local elected officials to solve problems they have identified in their communities. Our efforts help kickstart and fund some of these economic development projects.

I also work to remove barriers to industry. The government should not stand in the way as companies try to grow. Instead, it should slash bureaucratic red tape and make it easier to get permits. This would unleash even more of America’s energetic businesses.

Pouring concrete, repairing airport terminals, and expanding ports are not the flashiest stories. Often, they stay in the headlines for only a day or two. But their impact lasts for generations. Great transportation networks will fuel our growth for decades.

As these kinds of projects come to life, they remind us that, with collaboration and creativity, the best is still yet to come for Mississippi.