PENDER: Rough road ahead for motorists, politics


BY: Geoff Pender Many of our roads and bridges are in poor shape and expected to get worse from lack of maintenance. On present course, experts predict more than half the state’s roads will be un-travelable by 2030. Part of the problem is the state, with an ambitious road building program in the 1980s, added … Continue reading PENDER: Rough road ahead for motorists, politics

MDOT funding Indian Mound Trail with $800,000 grant.


The Mississippi Department of Transportation has received an $800,000 grant to put up historical markers and create road pull-offs. The trail is envisioned to run 350 miles from Wilkinson County to DeSoto County. Among the trail's major sites will be the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez and Winterville Mounds State Park north … Continue reading MDOT funding Indian Mound Trail with $800,000 grant.

Senate approves McGrath for director of MDOT through 2017.


The state Senate approved today the appointment of Melinda McGrath to remain executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. McGrath was appointed executive director last year by the Transportation Commission. McGrath had been deputy executive director and chief engineer since August 2008. She was appointed the Mississippi Department of Transportation's interim executive director in … Continue reading Senate approves McGrath for director of MDOT through 2017.

House revives bill to raise speed limit to 75.


House members amended an unrelated Senate bill Thursday to allow the state Transportation Commission to raise the speed limit on some highways to 75 mph. The amendment was offered by Rep. Johnny Stringer, a Montrose Democrat. The House earlier passed his bill to allow the three transportation commissioners to increase top speeds on interstate highways … Continue reading House revives bill to raise speed limit to 75.

Rep. Robert Johnson wants gas tax increase.


A top lawmaker says Mississippi needs to increase its gasoline tax to pay for highway and bridge maintenance, but he concedes there’s little chance of it happening this year. House Transportation Committee Chairman Robert Johnson said Monday that 40 percent of Mississippi’s major roads and 28 percent of its highways are in poor or mediocre … Continue reading Rep. Robert Johnson wants gas tax increase.

Crawford: Raise gas tax to pay for highway maintenance and Medicaid expansion


The average price of gas in 1987 was 89 cents a gallon. We upped the gas tax by 4 cents to 18 cents a gallon. Today, gas costs four times as much, but the state tax is still 18 cents. Meanwhile, the 1987 program cost twice its $1.6 billion projected cost and in 2002 the … Continue reading Crawford: Raise gas tax to pay for highway maintenance and Medicaid expansion

MDOT Headquarters renamed in honor of former Speaker Billy McCoy


Officials dedicated the Mississippi Department of Transportation headquarters in downtown Jackson on Friday as the William J. "Billy" McCoy Building, honoring a former state House speaker who was instrumental in passing a highway construction program early in his career. McCoy, a Yellow Dog Democrat from the northeast Mississippi hill country town of Rienzi, served in … Continue reading MDOT Headquarters renamed in honor of former Speaker Billy McCoy

Officials bemoan MDOT cutting corners with highway “quick fix”


It's like showing up a for a job interview in sweatpants. That's how area elected leaders and residents feel about several south Mississippi state highways that are getting a "quick fix" known as chip seal rather than pavement. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said they feel people's pain, but their hands are tied because of … Continue reading Officials bemoan MDOT cutting corners with highway “quick fix”

MDOT reopens Highway 90, casinos back in business


The Mississippi Department of Transportation late Friday afternoon announced U.S. 90 is open in Harrison County, but motorists are advised to use caution because of ongoing work along the beachfront highway. U.S. 90 had been closed between the Biloxi Bay Bridge and the Bay St. Louis Bridge after Hurricane Isaac passed through the Gulf of … Continue reading MDOT reopens Highway 90, casinos back in business

Mississippi issues military veteran designation on driver’s license


Mississippi has issued its first driver's license designed for military veterans. The presentation was made Thursday at a Highway Patrol office in Pearl. Officials say Mississippi is one of 16 states offering a "veteran" designation on driver's licenses and other state-issued documents. There are approximately 200,000 veterans who call Mississippi home. HA