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State issues $250 million for road & bridge repairs

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

Funds are now being distributed across the state to fix roads and bridges. 

The Mississippi Transportation Commission announced that $250 million in funding for 163 Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund (ERBRF) projects has been issued.

According to MDOT, the approved projects will repair or replace 200 bridges severely restricting mobility, including 99 that are currently closed and another 91 that have posted weight restrictions.

A map with the approved projects can be seen below: 

Courtesy of MDOT

City and county governments received $213 million for projects on local roads, and MDOT received $37 million for projects on the state highway network.

The funds were set aside by the legislature during the 2018 Special Session as part of the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act, and while there are projects that still need funding, Central District Commissioner Dick Hall said that this is a start. 

“While we were not able to fully fund the $1 billion in requested applications, it is a start to addressing the state’s critical infrastructure needs,” Hall said. “We want to thank Gov. Bryant and the legislature for this is a step in the right direction.  However, we need sustained funding to address all deteriorating bridges and crumbling roadways.”

The projects were chosen based on metrics that took into account bridge condition, project readiness, traffic volume, mobility, and economic impact. Each application was analyzed and ranked based on these metrics and other criteria established through joint meetings with the ERBRF Advisory Board as well as survey information received from local governments.

“The Transportation Commission unanimously approved the selected projects from a pool of 690 applications totaling nearly $1 billion,” said Northern District Commissioner Mike Tagert said. “Although all applications contained important projects, those awarded will provide the greatest benefit to the state’s crippled infrastructure.”

Southern District Commisioner Tom King joined his fellow commissioners by stating the projects will greatly benefit the state of Mississippi. 

“The Transportation Commission worked closely with MDOT and the advisory board to ensure the most effective statewide allocation of funds which improves public safety and strengthens Mississippi’s economy,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District. “The selected projects will replace closed and posted bridges, reopening many agricultural and commerce corridors as well as providing safe passage for emergency vehicles and school buses.”

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn played key roles in the passage of the MIMA bill, and released the following statements after the funds were issued. 

“Today’s action is good news for Mississippi counties and cities that stand ready to get to work on road and bridge needs,” Reeves said. “Maintaining infrastructure is a core function of government, and I am pleased we were able to pay for these repairs without raising taxes.”

A full list of the projects and their costs can be seen here – MDOT Projects

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