For Dick Hall, the Central District Transportation Commissioner, “We’re probably are a ‘D’ rating now so we went from number 1 in the mid south now to one of the worst.”
He says look to the past to build the future when it come to infrastructure pointing to the 1987 Road Bill.
“We built over 1300 miles of brand new 4 lane high way we went from having one of the worst highway systems in the country to having one rated number 1 in the mid south and the 6th best system in the United States,” he said.
To do another road bill will require a commitment for recurring revenue and not just a special session with temporary funding.
“That lottery may raise 70-80 million dollars something like that we need 3 or 4 hundred million — that special session certainly it helped it’ll fix some pot holes it’s not the answer —they’ve got to get serious about it,” Hall said.
Jacob Forrester, Chair of the 2020 report card for Mississippi’s infrastructure and advocacy captain says,“the problems that we face right now will take a good solution from a lot of smart people.”
Jacob forrester with the American Society of Civil Engineers — the organization that gave Mississippi a ‘D’and list Mississippi Infrastructure cost in the billions and says all funding types including gas tax and tolls should be on the table.
“All of those types of funding mechanisms should be considered should be on the table and I think that the approach and the solution has to be specific.” Forrester said.
From Hall’s viewpoint transportation goes hand and hand with the state’s economy.
“Mississippi needs all the prosperity we can get a hold of and it’s not going to happen with an antiquated transportation system.”
The current usuage tax is 18.4 cents per gallon.