HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the University of Southern Mississippi (UMS) announced several construction projects will provide greater accessibility and mobility to the Hattiesburg campus.
According to Dr. Chris Crenshaw, senior vice president for facilities planning and management, the projects are part of a long-term bike and pedestrian master plan developed by a USM committee in conjunction with outside engineers.
“These projects – particularly the pedestrian pathway project – help us provide convenient access for our students, faculty and staff, especially if they want to use an alternative means for accessing the campus outside of their vehicle,” said Crenshaw.
The majority of the work will focus on Montague Boulevard. A Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) grant from the Federal Highway Administration has enabled the university to begin construction of a pedestrian pathway along the north side of Montague Boulevard from 38th Avenue to Ross Boulevard.
Crenshaw said the grant will fund 80 percent of the $950,000 project that will offer a safer way for students to enter the campus from traffic-heavy 38th Avenue. USM will provide the remaining funds for the project.
“We have a lot of students who live in apartments along the west side of 38th Avenue,” stated Crenshaw. “Currently, when they cross 38th Avenue they’re walking in the street because they don’t have a safe way to traverse the area to get to campus. This pathway will give them a much safer access to campus, and we’re very excited about this particular project.”
Projects underway include:
- Montague Roadway Extension
- This work includes demolition of the former Printing Center, which had not been utilized for several years. When finished, the roadway will feature a single-lane extension that will run one-way, from east to west, behind the Power House Restaurant, linking Forrest Avenue to Montague Boulevard. The project will also include the addition of sidewalks and metered parking spaces. Scheduled completion date is this summer.
- Montague Boulevard Multi-Use Pedestrian Pathway
- The 10-foot wide pathway will run along the north side of Montague Boulevard, from 38th Avenue to Ross Boulevard (approximately 1,800 feet). The project is scheduled to be completed in October of this year.
- North Campus Gateway
- Located at the corner of West Fourth Street and North 34th Avenue, the gateway is designed to resemble the Centennial Gateway at the Hardy Street entrance of the Hattiesburg campus. The project is scheduled for completion sometime this fall.
- New Parking Lot
- Approximately 280 spaces will be provided by a new parking lot at the corner of Montague Boulevard and Ross Boulevard. The project will include lighting, a sidewalk, curb and gutter and drainage improvement.