FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - More than $250 million is being dispersed across the state of Mississippi for road and bridge repairs.
According to Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, the Department of Transportation voted to send the money that was set aside by the legislature in 2018 to local governments to begin the process of infrastructure projects.
Jessica Bowman was at the Forrest County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday as the news was announced.
“The county is thrilled to hear about the new money,” District 5 Board of Supervisor Chris Bowen said.
The $250 million move was authorized by the state legislature. Looking at local numbers, Forrest County received $15.8 million for the construction of three new bridges. Bowen said you will eventually see a new bridge on Main Street in Brooklyn. The other in district 5 on Carnes Road.
“This bridge has been shut down or it’s actually been posted for a lower weight limit so school buses have been having to go around it," Bowen said. "So, this will be an opportunity to replace the bridge and be able to pass everything, logging trucks and to school buses and anything safely across it.”
District 3 Supervisor Burkett Ross said the majority of the money will be allocated for the construction of the third bridge.
“And the big news is, the East Hardy Street bridge linking Petal to Hattiesburg, they got $15 million to do that project," Ross said. "That bridge was built in 1950. We are certainly excited about this. This is really big news.”
Ross said good news for drivers, the current bridge will stay open as the new one is being constructed.
“We are certainly happy about that after 70 years," Ross said. "After rating all the bridges, we realized that bridge is still in good shape, but it needs to be replaced. We are excited we got that much for it. Representative Larry Byrd is to be commended for that, he worked very hard for us to get that.”
“It’s very exciting for the community,” Bowen said.
Breaking down the exact number, WDAM shows you how much money will be allocated for each bridge. $593,000 dollars will go toward the Carnes Road bridge, $278,000 will go toward the Main Street bridge in Brooklyn and $15 million will be used on the East Hardy Street bridge connecting Hattiesburg to Petal.
No word, just yet, on when the infrastructure projects will begin.