Mississippi lawmakers request highway bonds

| 8/13/2004

Gov. Haley Barbour has received requests from some key lawmakers to provide assistance to the Mississippi Department of Transportation to complete some major road projects.

Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall and others say the highway agency needs relief to keep critical road projects on track after losing $232 million over two fiscal years to shore up ailing state budgets, the Picayune Item reported. Lawmakers want to issue at least $100 million in bonds to help MDOT.

Lawmakers say they want the bonds to be issued during a special session this fall that Barbour said he’s considering calling.

In the final days of the 2004 session, lawmakers diverted funds from the agency and other sources for additional needs to deal with strains on the $3.6 billion state budget. Road projects delayed include increasing Route 19 from Meridian to Neshoba County to four lanes.