Smokestack Park highlights improvements

Smokestack Park highlights improvements

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In the Hattiesburg downtown area, some may have noticed some improvements to the local landscape

It is all part of a transportation enhancement program which consists of sidewalks, lighting and landscaping along sections of Broadway Drive, West Pine Street, Mobile Street, Bouie Street and at the smokestack on 4th Street, to become Smokestack Park.

The Purpose of Smokestack Park is to serve as gateways to Ward 2 and Ward 4.

"A major portion of the project was the beautification of the streets," said city engineer Lamar Rutland. "That was the original intention of this project. We are planting a large amount of trees."

The smokestack marks the former site of the city's Public Works Department. Smokestack Park is adjacent to the Longleaf Trace, C.E. Roy Community Center and the African American Military Museum.

"(The smokestack) was used as an incinerator to burn trash and various items," Rutland said.

The goal of the overall project is to create a safer and more attractive thoroughfare.

The project was made possible by a grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The city's share of the project just under $275,000, and the whole project will be $945,000.

The project is expected to be completed by mid April.