Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Transportation
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) received a $52.4 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao made the announcement at the United States Department of Transportation office in Washington, D.C. MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath, P. E., was there on behalf of the department.
“MDOT’s number one priority is safety. This grant will allow us to build a new four-lane route, making the highways safer and more efficient for the traveling public.” McGrath said. “Thank you to Secretary Chao, Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Rep. Trent Kelly and others for their support and for making this project possible.”
The INFRA grant will go toward the construction of a four-lane highway in Itawamba County. The grant will be matched with $43.6 million in state and other federal funds which will allow MDOT to construct an 8.3-mile extension of State Route 76.
“The quality of our infrastructure impacts our quality of life and factors into economic development. Increased mobility, connectivity, and commerce will lead to more investment and more jobs in the region,” said Northern Transportation District Commissioner Mike Tagert.
State Route 76 forms part of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) in Mississippi. This $96 million project will complete the final portion of the ADHS Corridor V that runs from Interstate 55 in Batesville to Interstate 24 in Chattanooga. Corridor V is vital to the growth and development of the automotive and furniture industry in the mid-south. MDOT expects to advertise the project for bids in the spring of 2020.
“This project is a great example of the work MDOT can do when funding is appropriated,” McGrath said. “We hope to continue working with our partners to fund infrastructure improvements across the state that will help grow Mississippi’s economy.”