The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has released its overall master plan for the state’s transportation needs and specific plans for the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, the Hattiesburg-Petal-Forrest-Lamar and the Gulf Regional Planning Commission.
The federally mandated plans will be updated every five years and the plan also includes bicycle and pedestrian projects and some improvements to JATRAN, including an express bus route to the Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport.
One of the goals of the new projects is to reduce vehicle hours of delay, a measure of traffic congestion, by eight percent by 2045.
The projects were prioritized by a criterion that includes congestion reduction, benefit/cost ratio, bicycle and pedestrian benefits, safety benefits and protection of both the natural environment and low-income communities.
“We gave each of these projects a score based on these factors,” said Taylor Marcantel, a senior planner with Neel-Schaffer who helped draft the plan. “The highest weight is for congestion reduction and the cost/benefit ratio, both of which are related to congestion. That accounts for a third of the project score.”
In the case of the last measure, the lesser the impact on both natural and man-made environment, the better the score.
They’re divided into two categories: fiscally constrained which are projects that can be reasonably expected to receive funding and visionary, which are projects that might be funded in the future if more money is found to finance them.
Among the fiscally constrained projects planned for the Northside include:
• A new four-lane divided road for Reunion Parkway and a new interchange with Interstate 55 (2036-2045 timeframe) that will cost $42.5 million;
•A 1.4-mile, two-lane expansion of Reunion Parkway from Parkway East to U.S. 51 (within the next five years) that will cost $8.8 million.;
•A $14 million extension of Sowell Road from U.S. 51 to Old Canton Road (2036-2045 timeframe);
•A new $21.8 million four-lane roadway for Yandell Road between Parkway East to North Old Canton Road (2026 to 2035);
•A $16.3 million five-lane widening of Bozeman Road from Highway 463 to Gluckstadt Road (2026 to 2035);
•A widening of Madison Avenue from Grandview Boulevard to U.S. 51 (within the next five year) that will cost $5.3 million;
•Widening of Hoy Road to five lanes in the 2036 to 2045 timeframe between Bradford Lane to Old Rice Road that will cost $5.75 million;
• $7.5 million for the 2020 to 2025 timeframe to repave Woodrow Wilson Avenue from Interstate 55 to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
•Replacement bridges for Midway Road, Mill Street and Terry Road;
The plan also includes $119 million for reconstruction in the metro area, $112 million for overlays and $50.7 million for bridges from 2020 to 2025. In the 2026 to 2035 timeframe, the figure for reconstruction increases to $2126 million, $249.8 million for overlays and $99 million for bridges.
From 2036 to 2045, $239.2 million in planned for reconstruction, $276 million for overlays and $110 million for bridge construction and repairs.
On the visionary side, the plan also includes some bigger projects, such as widening Interstate 220 to six lanes, expanding Interstate 55 from Pascagoula Street to Woodrow Wilson Avenue and from state Highway 463 to Gluckstadt Road to eight lanes, an extension of North Wheatley Street from West Ridgeland to Madison avenues and expanding Interstate 55 to six lanes to the Copiah County line.
Another project would be a new frontage road on Interstate 220 between Cole and Brame roads.
Also, in the long-term projects that would require addition funding is a new $90.8 million toll road that will connect Interstate 55 with the airport.
The biggest ticket item project is the Hinds Parkway, which will connect Interstate 20 with Parks Road. The estimated price tag on that project is $127 million.
Rankin County projects that are coming to fruition include a $25 million for the second phase of the Pearl/Richland intermodal connector, a four-lane highway from U.S. 49 to Pearl, a $19 million third phase of the east Metro Corridor from Cooper Road to Old Brandon Road.
The metro area plan was formulated by the Metropolitan Planning Policy Committee, with 31 members, on recommendations provided by the Intermodal Technical Committee. This committee has 38 members and represents local agencies and other stakeholders.
The report estimates $4.43 billion in federal funds will be available for roadway projects in the Jackson metro area from this year until 2045.
The statewide draft plan put together by MDOT estimates that the state will need a minimum of $1.08 trillion in transportation funding for the next 25 years to meet minimum targets necessary to ensure a safe, well-maintained and efficient transportation system.
An aggressive plan would require $1.371 trillion.
While public comments are closed for the Jackson area plan, MDOT will be accepting public comments on the statewide plan and those for Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast until November 30.