Controversial road plan to proceed in Port Gibson

A controversial plan to widen Port Gibson’s historic U.S. 61/Church Street will proceed, in spite of a recent meeting between a top transportation official and residents who want to derail the project.

“We are planning to go forward,” said Kevin Magee, district engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s District Three, which includes Claiborne County and Port Gibson.

At the invitation of Mayor Fred Reeves, MDOT executive director Butch Brown met in May with residents of Port Gibson, many of whom expressed objections to the plan.

In the past, Brown has assured opponents that MDOT will come up with a design that will enhance the historical features of the town.

Brown could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Reeves and the Claiborne County board of supervisors have gone on record opposing MDOT’s project to upgrade 5 1/2 miles of four-laned U.S. 61/Church Street.

Among those siding with many Port Gibson residents in fighting the MDOT plan is MDOT Central District Commissioner Dick Hall.

“My position remains that, in the end, MDOT will not go down Church Street,” Hall said.

“I believe that in the end right will prevail.”

Clarion Ledger
6/12/8