HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Urban Development Department has formalized plans to upgrade East Hardy Street, Hall Avenue and more in the Bridging Divides, Building Opportunities project.

The plans include:

  • An overpass over the Norfolk Southern rail line that runs parallel to West Pine Street will connect West Pine Street in Downtown Hattiesburg via Hall Avenue.
  • An overpass connecting Hall Avenue over the Canadian National rail line that runs parallel to James Street.
  • A redesigned and extended Hall Avenue up to Gulfport Street.
  • The creation of a new Gulfport Street, which will include a trail connection that allows for multiple transportation opportunities (bike, pedestrian, vehicle).
  • A new bridge over the Leaf River along East Hardy Street that connects Hattiesburg and Petal, plus the conversion of the existing bridge into a path for pedestrians and bicyclists. This will be a Forrest County project.

City leaders said the project has been in the making since 2017 when the city gathered over $55 million for its construction. The funds are made up of two federal grants and the rest coming from city partners.

They said the purposes of the project are to allow neighbors to travel more easily through east Hattiesburg, create better visibility of the city for neighbors and visitors and to increase the consumer base of the area by providing expansion of commercial development. The project is estimated to be completed by May 2022.

City leaders are encouraging neighbors to share their questions, suggestions and ideas about the project. To do so, mail or drop off a letter to Urban Development at 200 Forrest Street, Hattiesburg, MS 39401. You can also email Urban Development at planning@hattiesburgms.com.