JACKSON, MS (AP) - The Mississippi Transportation Commission has unanimously approved 163 projects to repair or replace crumbling roads and bridges.
The three commissioners voted Tuesday, months after lawmakers met in special session and authorized the state to issue $250 million in bonds to fund emergency repairs.
A Mississippi Department of Transportation news release said $213 million will be spent on projects overseen by cities and counties, while $37 million will be spent on projects in the state highway system.
The release said commissioners chose projects based on bridge conditions, project readiness, traffic volume, mobility and economic impact.
Traffic has been rerouted because of closed bridges in some places, causing school buses and carriers of agricultural products to take longer routes.
The most expensive local projects approved are $15.2 million for East Hardy Street in Forrest County and $11.8 million for one segment of Wade-Vancleave Road in Jackson County. Another $2.5 million is allocated for another portion of Wade-Vancleave Road.
The most expensive state project is $16.3 million for part of Interstate 20, which runs east-west across the center of the state.
Applications were submitted for 690 projects worth about $1 billion.
"Although all applications contained important projects, those awarded will provide greatest benefit to the state's crippled infrastructure," Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said.
The Department of Transportation published a list of projects and a map showing their location.
Ten cities are receiving money for projects. They are Clinton, Columbia, Indianola, Jackson, Meridian, Natchez, Pickens, Southaven, Starkville and Vicksburg.
Seventy of the 82 counties are receiving money. The 12 not receiving money are Choctaw, Covington, Harrison, Lafayette, Lamar, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Rankin, Smith, Tate and Tunica.
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