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Jones County citizens voice concerns about MDOT Hwy 15 project

Jones County supervisors held a special board meeting to address concerns about the Highway 15 project.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - On Monday night, Jones County supervisors and citizens gathered to address their concerns about the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Highway 15 project.

Ron Swindall had a lot to say about the project.

“This is not a good project for Laurel or Jones County,” said Swindall. “It’s going to impede the ability for our citizens to turn into businesses in which they want to shop.”

MDOT was not at this meeting though they were reportedly invited. Earlier this month, representatives told WDAM 7 that this project is all about safety.

Supervisor Larry Dykes, however, disagrees.

“I want you to know where I stand up front,” said Dykes. “I think it’s a bunch of crock. That’s just how I feel.”

MDOT is planning to replace the two-way left turning lanes with medians. Their goal is to reduce the number of car crashes.

Swindall says he thinks it will affect small business owners.

“They’ve invested their life savings in their business,” said Swindall. “It is not fair for the federal government or the department of transportation to come in and say, we’re going to impede people from getting to your business or your store.”

Swindall says he wants the local government to do everything in its power to stop the project from happening.

“So, this is the federal government coming in and telling our local citizens what we need to do,” said Swindall. " I don’t know what you think about us being the ‘Free State of Jones,’ but I don’t think we have to take it lying.”

According to Ms.gov., the Mississippi Department of Transportation is responsible for providing a safe intermodal transportation network that is planned, designed, constructed and maintained in an effective, cost-efficient and environmentally sensitive manner.

As of now, construction on the project is set to start in the fall of 2023.

WDAM 7 will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest developments.

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