Hattiesburg prepares for first phase of 4th street expansion

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will Hattiesburg's 4th street corridor. The city's plans for the street's expansion has been in the works for years, and now part of the process has started.

"It's been in the works for a number of years, four to six years," said Director of Engineering, Bert Kuyrkendall.

Kuyrkendall, says during that time the city secured funding and purchased right-of-ways in preparation for the first phase of the expansion, which will be a year long task starting in March.

"Construction will cover the entire length of the project from 25th to Hutchinson street," said Kuyrkendall.

Before the city can start, utility workers are moving phone, gas and light lines outside the project area.

"To be able to go the next step with MDOT, we have to have all of the utilities out of the way to authorize the project," said Kuyrkendall.

Initially the expansion costs were $3.3 million.

"The entire budge is about $4.1 million for this first phase," said Kuyrkendall.

Kuyrkendall says 80 percent of the price tag is taken care of by federal dollars, and the rest is left to the city.

"The city is coming up 20 percent of the match," said Kuyrkendall.

Kuyrkendall understands a 12 month period of construction in the area my seem inconvenient to the residents, but he says the improvements will be worth it.

"A three lane curbing gutter with a median in most places, and also drain pipes, because drainage is an issue in this area. Traffic will flow more smoothly, but also it's gong to be more attractive. We're going to have the medians, sidewalks and also the long leaf trace," said Kuyrkendall.

Kuyrkendall says the second phase will start on Hutchinson and end at Main Street in down town Hattiesburg.

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