Ridgeland receives $1M to design I-220 frontage road
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Efforts to open up land for development along I-20 in Ridgeland have gotten a major boost, thanks to an allocation from the state legislature.
During the 2022 session, the legislature set aside $1 million to fund additional design work for the Commerce Park Connector Road.
The Ridgeland mayor and board of aldermen approved a memorandum of understanding to accept the funding at its July 19 meeting.
“This is the second time the state has given us money. It will give us enough to complete the design phase and position us for property acquisition,” said Public Works Director Alan Hart.
Design work should be completed in the next eight or nine months. Plans are being drawn up by Waggoner Engineering.
“As far as coming up to the point where we need to buy right-of-way, we will have to get [additional] funding in place before we go onto the next steps.”
The connector project will essentially create a frontage road that will run along the north side of I-220 from Highland Colony Parkway to New Pointe Drive in Ridgeland.
Once completed, it will open about 140 acres for development and would create a new route for trucks, to move them off of Highland Colony.
Work is expected to cost around $25 million in all. It is being constructed as part of a partnership between the Madison County Economic Development Authority, Tougaloo College, and Ridgeland.
Tougaloo owns about 80 of the 140 acres the frontage road would benefit. The acreage was cut off from the college’s main campus by the construction of I-220. The property is located inside the Ridgeland city limits.
“That’s why they’re a partner in this project,” Hart said. “This frontage road would give them the opportunity to see that property developed to create revenue streams as they sell or lease lots.”
Funding was approved as part of House Bill 1353. The bill also set aside $1.5 million for other road projects in the city.
The board also approved a memorandum of understanding to accept those funds.
However, Hart said leaders had still not decided how the money would be used.“We have a priority schedule,” he said. “There are certainly a lot of big streets we want to plug in when we get money like that.”
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