Supervisors seeking federal funds for I-55 project

Madison County officials are seeking federal money for the Reunion Parkway interchange, which is expected to spur economic growth and help traffic flow in the southern part of the county.

Three county supervisors are traveling to Washington today to seek funding for the I-55 interchange. The county also has hired a lobbyist to help.

If federal money is secured, the interchange would be one of a few funded through a mix of private, county, state and federal dollars.

After months of debate and the project being blocked twice, Mississippi transportation commissioners voted March 12 to allow the county to build the interchange just north of Madison.

In return for Hall’s vote to move Reunion forward, MDOT agreed to move work ahead on the Gluckstadt interchange. It could be completed by 2013, when original plans called for work to start in 2014.

According to county estimates, the Reunion project is expected to cost about $21.8 million, though MDOT has estimated it at nearly $40 million.

The county has issued about $17.5 million in bond money, though officials won’t know until July whether a tax increase will be necessary to cover it.

At least $6 million toward Reunion has been promised by a private developer, and another $6.5 million will come from MDOT.

Supervisors voted Monday to hire Steve Seale, an attorney with the Wise Carter law firm of Jackson, to represent the county as a lobbyist in the interchange matter.

Clarion Ledger
5/6/8