?Things are happening on Highway 80,’ says Mayor Johnson
Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. said Highway 80 has a wealth of potential. The Metrocenter, the state’s largest mall, is on Hwy 80, it has interchanges with major interstates and the city is planning to extend the Metro Parkway all the way from downtown, pass the Metrocenter to Hwy 18.
“We have worked to improve the area and a lot of the beautification projects have been in conjunction with the Highway 80 Coalition, such as adding new street lights and code enforcements activities,” said Johnson. “The Jackson Police Department has met with the coalition to talk about their concerns on several occasions.”
Johnson said one way the city is addressing blight and making redevelopment easier is by designating the areas as an Urban Renewal District.
“Another sign of the positive work we are dong can be seen in Puckett Machinery we worked with to provide incentives to stay in the current Hwy 80 and expand in their current Hwy 80 location,” said Johnson. “This is just one example of a business that we kept in the city and now they are in the middle of a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion.”
On the corner of Highway 80 and Valley Street, the city has invested over $2 million to develop a new garage and office complex for JATRAN.
“We choose that location because we wanted to make sure that there was sizable public investment in the area,” said Johnson.
Battlefield Park, once a haven for drugs and other illicit behavior, now is one of the premier parks in the metro area.
“As a matter of fact, just last Saturday, thousands of children and adults attended the city of Jackson’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the park,” said Johnson.
In an effort to keep the park a place where families feel comfortable going, Johnson said the police department runs sting operations on the Highway 80 Corridor. The most recent one was in February called Operation Cupid.
“That operation yielded 51 arrests,” said Johnson.
Johnson added that a supermarket, a Wing Stop and a Wholesale Furniture, which is located in a building that had been vacant for years on Hwy 80 and Terry Road, are all recent developments.
“Things are happening on Highway 80,” said Johnson.
Harvey Johnson Campaign Press Release