JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will receive $3.6 billion in federal funding.
Mississippi is on the map as part of an initiative set by President Joe Biden to improve 150,000 bridges across the country.
“Over the last few years, the Legislature has recognized the need for further investment in our transportation system,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White.
Three hundred-million dollars of the funds will be allocated for a bridge program. A project to install electric vehicle charging stations is also on the list.
“While it’s good that we have additional money, it’s still not going to be near enough to address all the needs,” said White.
MDOT officials said the department received $160 million more than what was expected.
“Another program that’s been very effective for us is the lottery fund. As you know, the Legislature set up for the first $80 million generated from the lottery to go towards MDOT,” said White.
He added that staffing hurdles remain a problem. The commission will adopt the Three Year Plan on Tuesday.
“For the first time in my knowledge, MDOT has counties where there are zero employees. The reason that’s significant is because that means our floating crews are working in a much larger area. We lose them primarily to our local government counties,” said White.
He said hopefully next week, he’ll have a better idea of what MDOT’s priorities are, which will determine how the federal funds will be used. Within the last year, MDOT lost more than 30 engineers to better paying jobs out of state.