Highway commissioner speaks to Kiwanis Club

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Four-laning of U.S. 84 across the state could be completed by the summer 2001, said South District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown. Brown, who spoke to members of the Trace City Kiwanis Club Tuesday, is a member of a five-state committee working to four-lane the highway from Texas to Georgia. And Mississippi is the only state in that committee that has purchased rights-of-way and established a construction plan. Four-laning of U.S. 84 from Brookhaven to Natchez should be completed by the end of this summer, Brown said. He said the four-laning benefits all of the communities along the highway.

&uot;There are people traveling in motor homes who want to get off the interstates,&uot; Brown said. &uot;These are not trucks tearing up our highways; these are tourists — and that means money.&uot;

Brown also told Kiwanis members about other projects the Mississippi Department of Transportation is working on, including a $1.5 million project to rebuild Government Fleet Road. He said this is the first time MDOT&160;has had funds for intermodal roadways, which helps Government Fleet Road, which leads to the Natchez-Adams&160;County Port.

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&uot;It’s a beautiful port,&uot; he said. &uot;You just need a better way to get to it.&uot;

Brown also said MDOT is trying to provide more services beyond highways. He said the Natchez-Adams County Port needs about $300,000 to fulfill critical needs — and more than $10 million to &uot;make the port what it should be.&uot; But that money is hard to come by, he added.

Brown said MDOT will be working this year to remove medians from state highways in the commercial areas in Natchez to allow for turning lanes.