Highway maintenance funds rising as 2013 need priority

The cost is $250,000 or more per mile, compared to about $75,000 per mile in 1987, MDOT Tupelo District Engineer Bill Jamieson said Monday.

Changing the numbers is not up to staff member but falls to the Legislature and elected officials from the governor down through the Transportation Commission.

As some longtime highway advocates have said, the essential element that hasn’t come forward as in 1987 is the statewide business community. Its support must be visible and vocal.

In the 1913 budget (this fiscal year) MDOT asked for $181 million for highway maintenance and is asking for $190 million in the 2014 budget.

The cost sounds daunting but it is a drop in the bucket compared to where costs could rise if adequate maintenance is indefinitely delayed.

Daily Journal Editorial