Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons on Monday joined officials for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51/State Street and West County Line Road in Jackson. The project realigns West County Line Road from Brown Street to U.S. Highway 51/State Street.
The project set out to make the realigned West County Line Road a four-lane divided highway with a raised median and includes a bridge over White Oak Creek. Nearly 7,000 feet of the Canadian National Railroad were relocated throughout the project.
The realigned railroad includes bridges over the relocated West County Line Road, the existing West County Line Road and White Oak Creek. Existing grade crossings at Richmond Grove Road and Brown Street were closed, enhancing safety conditions throughout the area. The project also included a two-lane curb and gutter connection between the existing Guice Lane and Rand Street.
The new stretch of West County Line Road connects a section of road that was designed and built from 1999 through 2009. Due to sufficient funds, the City of Jackson was forced to put the project on hold. In 2015, the City received a $16.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund two projects, including completion of the West County Line Road project. In 2018, construction on the West County Line Road project resumed.
This year, CN Railroad officially opened a new 6,300-foot raised stretch of track that was built just west of the existing line, including the three underpasses. This includes the rail over White Oak Creek, and the other two allow vehicles to pass under the rain line via Tougaloo Village Road and the new extension to West County Line Road.
“We at the Mississippi Department of Transportation are very excited to be able to collaborate with all partners in the public and private sector to see this project through,” said Simmons. “The completion of this project enhances safety conditions throughout the area, and economic development opportunities are here like they’ve never been before.”
Commissioner Simmons was joined by U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Sen. John Horhn, Rep. Debra Gibbs, Jackson Councilwoman Angelique C. Lee, President and CEO of Neel-Schaffer Hibbett Neel, P.E., Tougaloo College President Dr. Carmen J. Walters and other local officials to cut ribbon on the new roadway.
The project was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and appropriated by the Mississippi Department of Transportation with a local match.
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