Senate transportation chair seeks emergency money for roads, bridges

In a move he acknowledges is a long-shot, the chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee is asking legislators to approve $300 million for timely repairs on state highways and bridges and an additional $100 million for locally maintained roads and bridges.

Sen. Willie Simmons, a Cleveland Democrat, wants the money to be part of the state’s general obligation bonding.

His legislation, Senate Bill 2028, is in the Senate Finance Committee.

If allocated, around $40 million of the $300 million would go for replacing posted bridges on the Delta’s Highway 6 between Batesville and Clarksdale.

His bill limits draws on the $300 million for state roads and bridges to $150 million a year and to $50 million a year on the $100 million State Aid portion.