JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi Transportation Commission on Tuesday announced funding for 163 Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund (ERBRF) projects.
Totaling $250 million, the approved projects will repair or replace 200 bridges severely restricting mobility, including 99 that are currently closed and another 91 that have posted weight restrictions.
City and county governments received $213 million for projects on local roads. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) received $37 million for projects on the state highway network.
“The Transportation Commission unanimously approved the selected projects from a pool of 690 applications totaling nearly $1 billion,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “Although all applications contained important projects, those awarded will provide greatest benefit to the state’s crippled infrastructure.”
Applications were received between November 14 and December 14 last year. Projects were chosen based on metrics that took into account bridge condition, project readiness, traffic volume, mobility, and economic impact. Each application was analyzed and ranked based on these metrics and other criteria established through joint meetings with the ERBRF Advisory Board as well as survey information received from local governments.
“The Transportation Commission worked closely with MDOT and the advisory board to ensure the most effective statewide allocation of funds which improves public safety and strengthens Mississippi’s economy,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District. “The selected projects will replace closed and posted bridges, reopening many agricultural and commerce corridors as well as providing safe passage for emergency vehicles and school buses.”
The Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund was created by the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act (MIMA) of 2018, which was signed into law during the 2018 Special Legislative Session. It authorized issuance of up to $250 million in bonds to repair public roads and bridges in the state.
“While we were not able to fully fund the $1 billion in requested applications, it is a start to addressing the state’s critical infrastructure needs,” said Commissioner Dick Hall, chair, Mississippi Transportation Commission. “We want to thank Gov. Bryant and the legislature for this is a step in the right direction. However, we need sustained funding to address all deteriorating bridges and crumbling roadways.”
For a complete list of projects receiving funding through the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund, click here.
Philip Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House, released a statement on the announcement on Twitter.
Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall also tweeted, saying:
“Today’s action is good news for Mississippi counties and cities that stand ready to get to work on road and bridge needs,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Maintaining infrastructure is a core function of government, and I am pleased we were able to pay for these repairs without raising taxes.”