Desoto County News

Supervisors react to Reeves plan to widen I-55

DeSoto County leaders expressed gratefulness and were pleased that Gov. Tate Reeves included the widening of I-55 in his $1.3 billion proposal for infrastructure and development improvements in Mississippi. Nearly $125 million of that amount would go to widening I-55 from Goodman to Church Road in Southaven, the first phase in a three-phase plan to add more lanes between Southaven and Hernando.

Reeves announced the proposal during an announcement Thursday morning.

The widening of I-55 is a road project DeSoto County and Northern District Transportation Commissioner John Caldwell have been working on for years.

“We’re shovel-ready to go,” said Supervisor Lee Caldwell. “The right-of-way has been purchased, utilities have been moved. All that’s needed is money for construction. We have been presenting our needs to anyone who will listen.”

Supervisor Caldwell, and Supervisors Mark Gardner and Ray Denison, joined about 100 other city and county leaders and residents at the State Capitol last week as part of the Driving DeSoto delegation.

“We presented a united front to all legislators, the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State and other key state leaders,” said Supervisor Mark Gardner. “I think it’s telling that Governor Tate Reeves started today’s presentation with the needs of DeSoto County.”

Driving DeSoto has been a driving force in raising awareness about the urgent need to widen I-55 all the way to 304/Commerce St in Hernando. More than 4,000 people who signed the petition agree.

“It’s not just about convenience. It’s also about safety,” said Supervisor Michael Lee. “I have been on the Transportation Committee for years, and for years we have received report after report about the dangerous crashes on the interstate.”

“Widening I-55 will not only have an impact on those who drive I-55,” said Supervisor Ray Denison. “It will also have a positive impact on all of DeSoto County and the State.”

“DeSoto County is the gateway to Mississippi, and I-55 is the main entrance,” said Supervisor Caldwell. When there is a crash on I-55, it impacts a number of other highways and roads, including U.S. 51, U.S. 78, Goodman/302, 304, Getwell, Airways, Pleasant Hill, and other roads.

If the legislature approves Governor Reeves’ proposal, it will also help other projects.

“It’s no secret we have a number of state roads that need to be widened or improved, including highway 305,” said Supervisor Jessie Medlin. “By funding the I-55 project, other state road projects will move up the ladder so to speak, which we hope means those projects will be able to be started sooner than planned.”

In addition to thanking Gov. Tate Reeves, Supervisors also want to thank Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, Senators Blackwell, McLendon, and Parker, and the rest of the DeSoto County legislative delegation for their hard work on getting funding for this vital project.

The plan will now go before the legislature for approval.

You can go to to sign the petition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *