Extension of Trace to be discussed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

Natchez will host a meeting of local, state and federal officials later this month to discuss the progress of extending the Natchez Trace.

Estimates still put construction of the interim terminus of the parkway at Liberty Road in 2003, said Stennis Young, chief of maintenance for the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Young said the Dec. 16 meeting will give officials from all areas of government working on the project a chance to share their progress.

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&uot;There are no decisions on anything at this time,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s more of a status check meeting.&uot;

The officials have been meeting every two or three months to talk about their different aspects of the project, Young said.

City Attorney Walter Brown said last week the city may be involved in legislation to ask the state to let $8 million in bonds to help pay for the acquisition of the rights-of-way for the Trace extension.

The 445-mile Natchez Trace — 415 of those miles are completed — follows the old Indian trail from Natchez to Nashville.

Since the 1960s, the Trace was expected to end at Seargent S. Prentiss Drive, but city officials wanted to bring the parkway all the way to the bluffs, taking it through downtown Natchez.

Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown said the Dec. 16 meeting will be &uot;a big day for Natchez,&uot; even though the construction on the project won’t begin for a number of years.

Completion of the Natchez Trace Parkway is also a main component of Natchez’s 20-year comprehensive plan, adopted by the Natchez Board of Aldermen Nov. 23.

The Trace completion has been a part of the city’s comprehensive plan since the 1960s.