Nearly $6 million in Jackson Metropolitan Planning Organization funding has been approved for Madison County and the city of Ridgeland for a variety of road projects designed to improve traffic flow.

The city of Ridgeland received $3,375,500, roughly $2.5 million of which is for four distinct projects. Three projects include new traffic signals on Highland Colony Parkway at Renaissance driveways numbered three and four as well as at Lake Harbour Drive. The largest chunk of funding is $1,070,500 for traffic signal upgrades and intersection improvements on Highway 51 at Lake Harbour Drive.

In addition to the specific project enumerated the city received a check for $954,000 for traffic signal improvement at multiple locations citywide.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said that this would fully fund the four projects. A few months ago the city had discussed the need for funding. McGee at the time said that he was confident they could find federal monies to cover signal projects. The idea had been floated that the city would pay for the upgrades itself.

“We were really hoping this would happen and we are excited that it did,” McGee said.

He thanked Public Works Director Mike McCollum and City Engineer Chris Bryson for their work on the project and cooperating with MDOT and the Jackson MPO to secure the roughly $3.3 million in funding.

Madison County also received a piece of the total $32.7 million issued. County Engineer Dan Gaillet said that $2,954,924 the county received represented about 80 percent of construction costs for projects on Catlett Road, Red Fox Road to Stribbling Road and the intersection of Highway 22 and King Ranch Road.

“Motorists can expect signal upgrades and left turn improvements at these places for the most part. Anything we can do to get traffic moving through there,” Gaillet said.

Gaillet said that projects on Catlett Road and Red Fox Road to Stribbling Road would go hand-in-hand to keep traffic “balanced” accommodate some developing subdivisions in the area.

He said that projects were still a ways off, many requiring right of way purchases and further engineering before construction can begin.

“These projects still need to accepted and approved by the board and bid out but securing money means we can move forward,” Gaillet said.

McCollum said that the city projects could be as far a year away from completion.

“These signals will have to go through all of the approvals required by MDOT and the City will have to bid these out. It could take as long as 12 months to complete,” he said. “ I will have a better idea on the time frame once we have a chance to meet with MDOT on this.”

Mike Monk, CEO of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, said that the MPO approved $32.7 million in Federal Surface Transportation Block Grant funding for metro-area transportation projects aimed at reducing congestion and improving the safety and efficiency of the regional transportation system earlier this month. 

He noted that this year, the MPO focused on providing funding to projects that can be completed in a relatively short timeframe, and that address safety, pavement condition, and congestion concerns.

Funding for these projects is available through the MPO as part of the 2015 Transportation Bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.