Forrest County works to improve road assessments

Updated: Jul. 2, 2019 at 9:43 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Forrest County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward into a partnership with the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to improve road assessments.

“The South Mississippi Planning and Development has a new division where they assist us with our road maintenance grading and actually create a video that we can pull up wherever we are and look at a road if a resident calls us with a concern,” said Board President David Hogan after Monday’s meeting.

Business Outreach Division Director Kristyn Gunter with SMPDD said the project is a partnership with the Hattiesburg-Petal-Forrest-Lamar metropolitan planning organization.

“In the assessment, we drive all of the roads within the jurisdiction,” said Gunter. “We rank the roads and collect video as we ride through the roads, and then, that comes together in a plan and a website that allows the jurisdiction to determine their scope and scale of their road issues and to help them with some budgetary planning items.”

Gunter said Forrest County’s portion is approximately $45,000 for the roughly 856 miles in the jurisdiction.

Hogan said the cost when SMPDD approached the board initially was roughly $90,000.

“The board was not ready at that time to spend that much money because we feel like we do a pretty good job locally,” said Hogan. “With the MPO match of 50%, we felt like it was a good thing to do and would give us another tool in our toolbox when it comes to road maintenance.”

Gunter said the assessments can be expected to be finished towards the end of March 2020.

WDAM learned that the Lamar County Board of Supervisors is also considering moving into the partnership with SMPDD.

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