Thursday, May 3, 2012
Highway 72 set for right-of-way buying
By SUE WATSON
The widening of a four-mile stretch of two-lane on Highway 72 in Marshall County to a four-lane highway is moving forward with the purchase of rights-of-way.
New lanes will be built to the north of the existing two lanes, according to District 2 engineer Mitch Turner, with the Mississippi Department of Transportation office in Batesville.
He said contractors should proceed to contact property owners by May 1.
Turner said it could take 45 to 60 days after appraisers start making contacts with property owners to make offers.
“This would put the offers starting around June 15 to July 1,” Turner said. “It is noteworthy that MDOT plans to offer financial incentives for displaced residents who will move out early.”
Right-of-way buyup takes about 24 months, usually, he said. A construction contract is presently scheduled to be let in January 2016, according to Turner. The finish date cannot be established until the project is designed and the schedule for the work has been known. Other factors can also enter into the equation for opening the highway – particularly weather.
Turner said the construction of the four miles of new lanes on 72 will dovetail with plans to develop a rail spur from the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility in Rossville to Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park. MDOT will partner with the Adair Group, developers for the intermodal facility for Norfolk Southern Railroad, he said.
“It goes without saying that these two projects will be designed and built to function together,” Turner said. “I-269, while not connected directly to this project, remains an integral part of the long-range economic future for Marshall County.
“We are planning on making appraisals and fair-market value offers to all properties and to relocate displaced persons currently living in the Magnolia Mobile Home Park, which is located on the north side of U.S. 72. Marshall County administrator Larry Hall is working with other agencies to resolve unsanitary conditions on the south side of U.S. 72.”
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