JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In the past Legislative Session, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) was allocated $4 million to assist in preconstruction activities on a project to widen State Route 25 (Lakeland Drive) in Rankin County.

“I’d like to thank Senators Josh Harkins, Dean Kirby and the House members representing Rankin County for assisting with funding to widen SR 25. With a preconstruction estimate of $5.5 million, this $4 million will go a long way in funding the beginning stages of this critical infrastructure improvement project,” said Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons. “This money will go towards activities such as survey, hydraulic analysis, roadway and bridge design, Right of Way acquisition, and utility relocation.  Once these items have been completed, as funding becomes available, we can move to construction.”

The project calls for the widening of Lakeland Drive from Grant’s Ferry Road to State Route 471 in Rankin County. Officials believe the widening of the roadway will improve safety and mobility along the highway.

“Widening this stretch of highway would go a long way in improving safe driving conditions and travel times for both local and commercial traffic throughout the area,” said Sen. Josh Harkins. “We are happy to assist MDOT in preconstruction activities for such a critical project on a heavily traveled roadway like SR 25. I look forward to seeing this project develop, move towards the construction phase and ultimately, see the safety and economic benefits that come from widening this stretch of highway.”

Courtesy: MDOT

This 3.5-mile stretch of Lakeland Drive sees an average of 17,000 vehicles daily. With an ever-growing increase in traffic, the design will include safety enhancements throughout the Lakeland Drive corridor.

“Although construction of this widening project is dependent upon future funding, we are working closely with Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads and the Legislative leadership to ensure we will have the necessary funding at the appropriate time,” said Simmons. “This is progress for our state and its transportation infrastructure as we work towards finding innovative ways to build and maintain a safe and reliable transportation network for future generations.”