MDOT to four lane 607

Published 12:18 am Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mississippi Department of Transportation will be seeking public comment on their need for right of way acquisition to four lane State Route 607.

Constructing four lanes on that road will give Coastal Mississippi residents another evacuation route in the event of another major hurricane, said MDOT engineer Red Stringfellow.

The public comment process will gather public opinion on the project and also inform residents of the need for right of way acquisition in order to move utilities, Stringfellow said.

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The work will be conducted in conjunction with Stennis Space Center. Funds to do the MDOT side of the work will be partially provided by a Community Development Block Grant. Stennis will handle their side of the work.

In the event of an emergency evacuation Stringfellow said Stennis has agreed to open their gates to evacuating traffic provided the facility is prepared in time.

When the project is complete 607 will have four lanes from the intersection of Miss. 90 all the way to Interstate 59. Right of way acquisition is planned to take place from the intersection of Route 607 and the recently repaved Texas Flat Top Road north to Interstate 59 in Nicholson, which is where the MDOT portion of the work will take place. Stennis will conduct the rest of the work from that intersection south through the space center to Miss. 90, Stringfellow said.

Work will not begin on the road until environmental work, survey and designing, map and deed securing and right of way acquisition have been completed. That process might take a year and a half, maybe more. Construction will add an additional year to the process, Stringfellow said.

The public hearing will be held at South Side Lower Elementary located at 400 S. Beech St. It will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. While there will not be formal presentations citizens will be encouraged to submit written or verbal comments. Verbal comments will be recorded and all comments, either written or verbal, will become part of the hearing’s record, according to a press release from MDOT.