HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The long-awaited $2 million-plus reconstruction of Lamar Boulevard began this week.
The year-long project will cover about three-quarters of a mile of a roadway that had increasingly deteriorated because of a lack of inlets and poor sub-base.
Too boot, upgraded underground infrastructure was required with the arrival of the Regions Mortgage Center, as well as anticipated future development along the corridor.
“Businesses and residents have waited a long time to see improvements to Lamar Boulevard,” Mayor Toby Barker said. “This project, made possible through state and federal grants associated with the Regions Mortgage Center, will transform one of the worst roads in Hattiesburg into one of the best and serve as a catalyst for future development in this important growth corridor.”
The need to refurbish the road was recognized more than half a decade ago, but procuring funds was hindered because financial audits for the city from fiscal years 2015 and 2016 had not been completed and the audit for fiscal year 2017 loomed.
City officials began working in 2017 to bring all three audits up to date, and with all financial matters in order, the city qualified for and received grants from the United States Economic Development Administration and the Mississippi Development Authority in 2019.
The federal grant will cover about $1.7 million of the project cost, with state grant and the city picking up the remaining $500,000-plus
The funds will pay for the installation of new sewer lines, drastically increase drainage capacity and rebuild the roadway in compliance with appropriate construction standards.
The past year saw the installation of the new underground infrastructure, and this week, Walters Construction Company, Inc., of Laurel, will begin removing and replacing the existing asphalt.
When completed, the new roadway will sport 42 drainage inlets, curbs and gutters with a divided median.
The project is estimated to take approximately one full year, depending on weather
During construction, the full extent of the road will be receiving improvements and traffic will be closed to through traffic except for access to businesses and offices located off U.S. 98 and Lincoln Road.
A stretch of the road will be closed completely to traffic south of Office Park Drive and north of Revolution Fitness/Regions Mortage Center and other businesses.
Office Park Drive will remain open.
For additional details, including a design of the project and traffic maps, visit http://www.hattiesburgms.com/news-updates/construction-on-lamar-boulevard-begins/.