The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 3/4/9

Mississippi’s highways have not been built lately with statewide needs in mind, but by regional priorities that skew and sap statewide goals, a state watchdog agency reports.

It also predicts that, given the state’s inadequate funding, the Vision 21 highway program the Legislature mandated in 2002 – including Highways 6, 15 and 25 in Northeast Mississippi – will never be achieved by the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

“Vision 21 won’t be successful until we get MDOT, the Legislature and the business community working together,” said state Rep. Greg Ward of Ripley, who asked for the investigation by the Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, commonly known as PEER.

He said he wanted to know if MDOT’s construction and maintenance plans met what state law requires: objective planning based on statewide needs, not among the six regional districts.