Madison County I-55 work moves to top of state’s list

Madison County I-55 work moves to top of state’s list


The state-funded widening of I-55 from Madison to Gluckstadt includes ramps to Reunion Parkway, Central District Transportation Commissioner Wille Simmons told the Board of Supervisors on Monday. 

Simmons told supervisors that even though the Legislature did not provide funding for the project this session, the two projects ahead of Madison County did receive funding from the state, propelling the local project to the top of the list. 

“This year they didn’t give us quite as much capacity money,” Simmons said, noting instead of receiving $500 million from the state they received $250 million. In addition, the state awarded $40 million to use as a match for federal funds. 

“We don’t know what it’s going to end up costing, but you should be very pleased with the fact the Legislature and federal government have bought into supporting your program,” he said. 

Simmons noted that the state has already given the county $25 million for the Reunion project and the federal government has given $10 million. 

“We feel good about where we are with that project,” he said. 

Simmons noted that MDOT is currently doing pre-construction work for the widening of I-55 to get it to a place where it’s shovel-ready when funds are appropriated. 

Simmons told supervisors that the money allocated from the state this term will go towards widening I-55 in DeSoto County and widening Highway 7 in the northern district. 

“Next on the list is Madison County to get dollars,” he said. “Your project is ahead of Rankin County. You will move as soon as we get dollars coming into that.” 

Simmons also briefed the board on ongoing work in the county on other projects, including paving on Highway 22, Highway 16 and Highway 463. 

He said that there are 10 bridges on U.S. 51 that will be replaced in the next two years, with the first five projects to get underway this November and the remaining to be let next year. 

Simmons pointed to the continuous traffic problem on Highway 463, saying they don’t know how to widen it. 

“We haven’t figured out a way to widen it because of the design and areas it runs through,” he said.

He added that they are going to do a “T Green” project at the intersection of 463 and Stribling Road, the first in the state, that should provide some relief. 

“It will allow the traffic to flow better by giving some lanes the means of moving as opposed to holding up all of the traffic,” he said. 

“We appreciate you working with us,” Board President Gerald Steen said, saying it was unfortunate there was no capacity money from the Legislature this year but it was good to know the project moved to the front of the line. 

“That’s where we want to be,” Steen said. 

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin thanked the commissioner for MDOT’s work in the northern part of the county, particularly on Highway 16 East and Highway 43 North. 

District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks thanked Simmons for working with the county on a possible stormwater solution to move more water under I-55 west of Canton to stop flooding inside the city. 

“We want to be very supportive of you in that effort,” Simmons said, adding they have to figure out a way to make it work where it doesn’t create another problem somewhere else. 

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