JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A new stretch of West County Line Road is now completed and ready for drivers.
The project was put on hold in 2009 due to lack of funds. The celebration began Monday with a parade.
Congressman Bennie Thompson, Central District Highway Commissioner Willie Simmons and a group of state lawmakers joined officials with the City of Jackson and Tougaloo College President Dr. Carmen Walters to cut the ribbon to officially open the road.
Walters and former Tougaloo President Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan were the first to drive on the new road.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba thanked former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson for initiating the project.
Lumumba said, “This means turning our crumbling infrastructure into an economic frontier. And so I’m excited to be apart of something that was envisioned 22 years ago under the administration of Harvey Johnson, Mayor Johnson.”
Johnson said, “It really took every amount of time to get this project to come to fruition. When you look at the railroad, that railroad had to be moved and those of us who’ve worked with the railroad before know how difficult that could be in terms of just re-routing traffic.”
“For the property owners on both sides, this means significant opportunities for this area. When it was conceived, County Line Road was the most traveled road in the tri-county area,” Congressman Thompson said.
The 10-million-dollar project was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
One of the biggest changes in the area is the relocation of 63-hundred feet of Canadian National Railroad tracks.
Three overpasses have also been added.
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