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Lt. Governor Reeves unveils $1 billion infrastructure plan

Tate Reeves. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

As the conversation around the future of Mississippi’s infrastructure progresses, the Lt. Governor has unveiled a new plan.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced a more than $1 billion plan to repair roads and bridges across the state, as well as meet other infrastructure needs, without raising taxes.

According to a media release sent out by Reeves’ office, the plan is titled “The BRIDGE Act.” 

The BRIDGE Act will provide a mixture of grants, loans and revenue to cities, counties and state agencies for infrastructure projects over a five-year period. BRIDGE stands for “Building Roads. Improving Development. Growing the Economy.” The Senate plan utilizes many concepts developed and supported by local mayors, supervisors, senators and bills passed by the House of Representatives.

Reeves says that the ability to maintain infrastructure must be fixed and that this plan is a “responsible” way to do just that.

“The BRIDGE Act addresses the needs of our state without raising anybody’s taxes,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Building and maintaining infrastructure is a core function of government. We’ve developed a responsible plan that balances the needs of our local governments and the marketplace.”

Finance Chairman Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, and Transportation Chairman Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, helped shape the comprehensive proposal to meet critical needs.

“A strong economy requires an investment in all types of infrastructure,” Sen. Fillingane said. “The BRIDGE Act can help our communities complete projects that keep products moving across our state and nation. That is good for Mississippi businesses.”

The Act also provides funds for economically distressed areas, including the Delta, to spur economic growth.

“We recognize the needs in Mississippi go beyond roads and bridges,” Sen. Simmons said. “The BRIDGE Act will help our cities and our rural areas fix their critical needs whether that means reopening a closed bridge or repairing broken water and sewer lines. This is a positive plan that doesn’t ignore the needs of our rural areas, like the Mississippi Delta.”

BRIDGE includes funding for the local system bridge program, railroad improvements, repairing water and sewer systems, and dam maintenance.

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