Desoto County NewsMississippi News

Reeves proposes funding for I-55 widening in DeSoto County 

The first step in what DeSoto County drivers have been hoping for years for appears to be on its way.  

Thursday morning, Gov. Tate Reeves announced on his Facebook page his proposal to improve infrastructure and site development in the state. 

The plan specifically includes nearly $125 million for I-55 expansion in DeSoto County, the Phase One proposal that would widen the interstate between Goodman and Church roads in Southaven.  

“To better position our state for further economic growth, we need to invest in our state’s roads and increase the number of project-ready sites across Mississippi,” said Gov. Reeves. “These investments will go an incredibly long way toward giving Mississippi the competitive advantage it needs to land more economic development projects and deliver more high-quality, high-paying jobs for Mississippians.”

The proposed infrastructure investments represent approximately $1.3 billion in transportation capacity project funding. These projects are ready to begin construction upon receiving the necessary funds. Included in the $1.3 billion is an additional investment of $100 million into the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Program, which all 300 municipalities and 82 counties across Mississippi are eligible to apply for.

Four road projects, two of which are in Tippah County and one in Lafayette County, are included in the governor’s proposal, in addition to the DeSoto County widening of I-55 for the Northern Transportation District.

About 100 DeSoto County officials, business leaders and residents were recently in Jackson under the banner of Driving DeSoto to lobby for funding for the project, which is hoped to eventually take the widening of the interstate to the Commerce Street interchange in Hernando.

In making Thursday morning’ s announcement, Gov. Reeves said, “Many of my friends in DeSoto County and across the state would say that it should come to Starlanding Road. Others would tell you that it should come to Hernando, and they’re all right. I completely agree with that and I believe the road should be widened at a minimum to Senatobia and eventually to Batesville.”

The governor went on to say, “The reality is, when you look at this region of the state, economic growth is happening there every single day.”

Here’s a link to the announcement video from the governor’s Facebook page.  

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite called it great news for the city and for DeSoto County and posted his comments about the announcement with his “Mayor’s Report” blog on the city’s website.

Responding to an email request for comment from DeSoto County News, Musselwhite said, “I’m thankful for Governor Reeves and the many local and state officials who recognize that this interstate capacity problem is not only a serious public safety hazard, but is also handcuffing the economic growth and tremendous future potential of DeSoto County and North Mississippi.  Professionally, this is a celebratory moment for me and many others who’ve spent countless hours advocating the importance of this project.”

This is a developing story and return to this page for updates.  

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