HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – One of the main gateways into downtown Hattiesburg is about to get receive an upgrade, with the first phase of the project funded by a $1.4 million federal transportation grant.
The Gordon’s Creek Commons will provide another route into the downtown area, running along the perimeter of one of Hattiesburg’s major natural resources.
“It has long been a vision for our city to transform Gordon’s Creek from an unsightly drainage ditch to an amenity that can enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods across the city,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said during the project’s announcement Thursday.
“Gordon’s Creek Commons, aside from adding pedestrian access to another section of the creek, will bring commercial activity to the water’s edge in a development that will enhance downtown and all of Hattiesburg.”
Located between Hardy, McLeod and Pine streets along the west bank of the creek in downtown Hattiesburg, Gordon’s Creek Commons will include:
- Six-foot and 8-foot concrete pathways and connection points to surrounding areas
- An entrance gateway plaza near Pine Street
- Two wooden boardwalks
- A bridge with handrails over Gordon’s Creek
- Shade structures on each side of the bridge
- Four seating areas.
The development also will include 8-foot concrete pathways along the east side of Gordon’s Creek and a connection to parking on McLeod Street.
The development will be built in phases, with the first phase being funded by a Transportation Alternatives Program grant.
The TAP program, funded federally and administered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation, supports an umbrella of projects that provide alternatives to vehicles and roads, such as bike trails and sidewalks.
Barker was joined at Thursday’s announcement by other city officials and Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King.
Groundbreaking on the first phase of the project is expected in the spring of 2022.
When the project is completed, the Commons will serve as home to several quality-of-life additions – including a splash pad, stage, shipping containers for restaurants/retail opportunities and a food truck park.
The Hattiesburg City Council recently unanimously approved a food truck ordinance that formalized the registration and operation process.
“Food trucks are a growing part of Hattiesburg’s culinary offerings, and they can serve to cultivate the next brick-and-mortar restaurant owners<” Barker said. “Gordon’s Creek Commons will become a unique destination that draws more people into the area, which will have spillover benefits for other downtown businesses.”