Mississippi sent a roadwork wish list of sorts to the White House. The state's request totals up to nearly $7 billion. But that's just for four projects.
"Without this additional federal funding, projects like this will not be built," explained Mississippi Department of Transportation Director Melinda McGrath.
McGrath said current funding wouldn't bring the blueprints anywhere close to reality.
"We have shifted all of our funding to preserving the existing infrastructure," she noted. "So, that means that we're actually just repairing what is built today."
The National Governor's Association sent a list of "priority" projects from several states. Mississippi's largest of the four submitted was a "coast to capital connector".
"If you've ever traveled on 49 from Jackson to the coast, over the last 12 years or so, that stretch of roadway has gotten to where it is bumper-to-bumper just about anytime day or night," described McGrath.
A completely new four-lane road would be built, connecting four interstates: I-10, I-59, I-55, and I-20. The project would take up a big chunk of that $7 billion. $4.6 billion to be exact.
One of the other projects would improve access to the Port of Gulfport.
"That could really open up not only the state but also the region to economic development, right movement, commerce, mobility," added McGrath.
Another would widen I-10 along the coast and reduce congestion. Finally, there would be a better truck route built through the Delta.
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