Thursday, April 2, 2009
Bypass paving on go with ARRA funds
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Industrial Bypass Road will be paved with $2.5 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, according to Congressman Travis Childers.
The 1.5-mile project in Marshall County was funded, along with about $25 million listed for ARRA projects in the Mississippi counties of Bolivar, Washington, Pearl River, Lauderdale, Tishomingo, and Sharkey.
Childers said the money for ready-to-go transportation projects will create and save jobs for Mississippians and give much-needed business to contractors and construction companies in the First District.
“I am extremely pleased that this project has finally received funding,” Childers said. “Marshall County and the City of Holly Springs will benefit greatly from this money, which is a prime example of recovery funds going towards shovel-ready projects to update critical infrastructure and create and save jobs during these difficult economic times.”
The bypass project has languished for two years due to lack of money. High oil and energy prices caused bidders to overbid on the Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer’s estimate by several millions of dollars.
Mississippi Department of Transportation solved part of the problem by refusing all bids, trimming down the scope of the project to fit the available funds and postponing the paving work until money for the project could be found. Luckily, President Obama’s and Congress’s economic recovery act (ARRA) found the money to finish the bypass road this year.
Bill Minor, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) commissioner for the northern district, said Monday the $2.5 million for the Holly Springs Bypass Road paving project has already been transferred into the State Aid fund and the project is a sure thing. Any money not used from the transfer will be left in the State Aid fund for other projects, he said.
“We already have it set up,” he said. “Bids have to be let in 120 days. No doubt we should get the job done this summer.”
Minor expressed gratitude for Congressman Childers for the way he works with MDOT.
“Congressman Childers has been good to us,” Minor said. “He's helped us do a lot of things for Marshall County and I really appreciate it.”
Ronnie Joe Bennett, president of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, was glad to get the good news.
“Of course, it is going to help tremendously,” he said, “especially the City of Holly Springs and economically it will help. It will tie everything (highways) into a complete loop so traffic can get around the city.”
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