Highway 6 Funding

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2010

Highway 6 project included in funding for state highways

By Billy Davis

Mississippi legislators have approved $50 million in funds that include preliminary funding for long-planned, slow-moving improvements to Highway 6 West.

The master plan calls for four-laning the dangerous two-lane highway between Clarksdale and Batesville, and constructing a bypass around Batesville.

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The funding was announced in a  statement from the state House of Representatives.

Mississippi Rep. Warner McBride, along with House and Senate Conferees, last week led the legislature to pass the Conference Report on Senate Bill 3181, according to the announcement.

McBride, who is from Batesville, chairs the Transportation Committee in the House of Representatives.

The monies for Highway 6 include preliminary funding beginning at Highway 61 in Clarksdale and extending easterly to Interstate 55 in Batesville.

The bill provides $50 million divided among Vision 21 “high priority projects,” according to the legislature.

The bill also increases the amount of bonds that may be issued under the Economic Development Highway Act by $98 million to provide funds for improvements to Highway 9 in the vicinity of the Toyota plant, and to provide funds for access to a national intermodal facility near Marshall County.

The bill also authorizes the issuance of state general obligation bonds in the amount of $180 million for projects that include:

•$100 million for the replacement or rehab of bridges on state maintained highways with a National Bridge Inspection Standards sufficiency rating of 50 or less.

•$10 million for the reconstruction to interstate standards of U.S. Highway 49 from the South Gate of Camp Shelby to U.S. 98, and to construct interchanges at the South Gate and the North Gate of Camp Shelby.

•$20 million for the State Aid Road Fund.

•MDOT is required to transfer $5 million per fiscal year to a special fund to assist in the payment of the principal and interest on the bonds issued under this act. The transfers continue until the principal and interest on the bonds is paid.

•$20 million for the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program.