Road projects delays because of fuel prices

Some future roads projects in South Mississippi will be delayed due to high fuel prices.

Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday the cost of fuel has increased the contruction of new roads by 60 percent.

They also say, asphalt prices have doubled in the last decade, but their funding has not increased. Two major projects currently suspended are Highway 26 in Wiggins and Highway 603 near Hhancock County. Both were scheduled to be widened to four lanes. MDOT officials said they are looking for other ways to fund upcoming road projects.

"We are looking at private public partnerships that we can hopefully fund roads in the future we also have a bonding mechanism in place that if local governments have a special project they would like to see us complete that they can float a bond and we would pay the bond off in a yearly manner," said MDOT Construction Engineer Red Stringfellow.

The Hardy Street improvement project in Hattiesburg and the "s curve" in Laurel have already been contracted and will not face any delays.