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Hattiesburg receives federal grant to repair Lamar Boulevard

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HATTIESBURG, Miss (WJTV) – The City of Hattiesburg has been working on improving its infrastructure for just about two years now, and they just got a major boost to those efforts in the form of a federal grant. 

It was announced on Thursday that the city will be receiving a $1.7 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, which is a part of the Department of Commerce.

People in Hattiesburg have been dealing with patched up sections of road and low lying flood plains on Lamar Boulevard for quite some time.

“It’s bumpy, the traffic is a little fast, it floods sometimes,” said Tammy Jordan, who drives on Lamar Boulevard on her way to work every day. “It’s just, they need to improve it.”

“The Economic Development Administration, part of the Department of Commerce and the Trump Administration, is now investing $1.7 million in the City of Hattiesburg, to rehabilitate and improve Lamar Boulevard,” announced John Fleming, the Assistant Secretary of the EDA

Fleming says this grant was awarded to Hattiesburg to help ensure commercial growth, with a number of businesses located on Lamar Boulevard. But he says that wasn’t the only reason. 

“What created a priority here was the hurricanes and the floods that happened in 2017, that led to this funding,” explained Fleming. “So that gave us more to work with and certainly the need is here.”

Those who use Lamar Boulevard on a day to day basis say they’re happy something is finally being done to fix it.

“Yeah I think it would be a big help, definitely,” said Alex Smith. “Like all of the traffic that comes through with this new Regions building, all of these new people, I think it’ll definitely be a huge help.”

“I think it’s great,” said Jeremy Smith. “I mean we, you know, definitely need roads that you don’t break your car or have a flat tire or you don’t need to take it in to a mechanic’s shop to get it fixed every day.”

The city says they plan to begin construction sometime next year.

The EDA’s grant will be matched by the city of Hattiesburg for $455,000 dollars, bringing the total investment into Lamar Boulevard to over $2.1 million dollars.

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