MDOT hoping for funding during Obama's administration

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is hoping federal funds will put the state on the road to infrastructure improvements.

Engineers with MDOT said Thursday with increasing construction and operating costs, the demand for infrastructure is outweighing funding, which is putting some projects on the shelf and stopping others.

President Elect Barack Obama is pushing a stimulus package through Congress next year for roadway projects across the nation in order to create jobs. According to a recent national transportation survey, Mississippi has about $600 million worth of projects waiting for funding, but engineers said what gets funded may depend on the provisions of the bill.

"Until we're able to get some legislation in place we're really not certain what we'll be able to do," said District 6 Engineer Steve Twedt. "There may be some limitations put on it. If we have to have all of the work under contract by a certain period of time or complete by a certain period of time, that'll put some limitations on what we're about to do."

Engineers said maintenance and resurfacing are the types of projects that could start immediately.