HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, along with Congressman Steven Palazzo, announced a $5,397,300 federal grant will be awarded to the City of Hattiesburg.
The money will be used to construct a new downtown route along Hall Avenue that would include a bridge over the Canadian National north-south rail line. The project would also build a new rail connection to a Norfolk Southern rail yard.
“This is great news for the City of Hattiesburg and the thousands of Mississippi residents who have found themselves stuck in traffic because of a slowly moving train,” Wicker said. “This project will provide a much-needed overpass along Hall Avenue for motorists and a streamlined connection for trains that travel through the city each day. These upgrades will improve safety and reduce frustrations as the city works to make Hattiesburg a better place to live and work.”
“Mayor Barker and the city leaders worked hard to earn federal resources for a rail project that will increase public safety, improve traffic, and create a more dynamic downtown,” Hyde-Smith said. “Their plan received strong congressional delegation support because we understand the importance of this plan for the residents, businesses, and the railroad companies.”
“This CRISI grant will reform downtown Hattiesburg’s infrastructure with a rail overpass and reduce train-related traffic delays to improve efficiency and safety for residents and visitors. For more than a century, rail lines have been the central piece of the Hub City and this appropriated funding will increase transportation certainty and reliability throughout the city,” said Palazzo.
The City of Hattiesburg will provide a 55 percent local match for the grant, bringing the total estimated project cost to $12 million.