Great leadership from those who moved I-14 forward

Published 6:55 pm Thursday, August 5, 2021

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Opportunity is on the horizon and its name is Interstate 14.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to approve an amendment that adds the interstate project to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package being considered by both houses of Congress.

The new interstate would begin in Midland-Odessa, Texas, and continue to Augusta, Georgia, passing through Vidalia, Louisiana, Natchez and Brookhaven.

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When a reality, I-14 will create tremendous opportunities for our area. Opening up the Miss-Lou to interstate transportation will boost our economy in exponential ways.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Package must be approved by the House and the Senate and signed by President Biden into law before any of this means anything. And, it will be many generations before the interstate is completed. However, the work happening now is the leadership needed for those who will live here in years to come, officials leading the project said.

As Chandler Russ, Natchez native and executive director of Natchez Inc., said, Tuesday will go down in history as a monumental day for the Miss-Lou.

Approval of the package will mean work can actually begin and money can be spent on the project, like the many feasibility, engineering and environmental studies needed.

It’s up to the individual states to begin work on and fund the interstate project, unlike when our original interstate system was constructed as a federal project.

So many Natchez and Concordia Parish people are to thank for the work they have done to get the project to this point, including Russ, City of Natchez, Adams County and Concordia Parish and Vidalia elected officials. Recently, the lobbying effort of our House and Senate representatives was essential and successful.

Interstate-14 is an investment in the future for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They will be thankful for the effort and leadership shown here now when they reap the benefits of what Interstate 14 brings to the economy of the Miss-Lou.

Only time will tell, but at least the rubber is finally beginning to meet the road.