Supervisors approve $250M road plan

Supervisors approve $250M road plan


Madison County supervisors on Monday introduced a quarter-billion-dollar bold, aggressive long-term transportation plan. 

The supervisors — who often find themselves split on issues, especially when it comes to funding roads — were unanimous in support of the 10-year plan that will ease traffic congestion throughout highly populated South Madison County. 

The next step is working on financing, which County Administrator Greg Higginbotham said he was still preparing because the county will have to borrow money in waves. 

Projects include improvements on Stribling Road, Weisenberger Road, Catlett Road, Yandell Road, Reunion Parkway, Calhoun Station Parkway, Bozeman Road, West County Line Road, and Ridgeland’s Wheatley Street. 

Work on Stribling Road includes 5-laning Stribling from Lake Caroline to Catlett Road and Fox Lane, while also realigning the road. Phase II of includes widening the road from Caroline Boulevard to Highway 463.

Weisenberger will be five-laned from U.S. Highway 51 to Parkway East. 

Catlett Road will be three-laned from Red Fox Lane to Stribling Extension. In addition, a traffic signal will be installed at Catlett and Stribling Extension. 

Yandell Road will be three-laned from West Fallen to Madison Crossing and then five-laned from Highway 51 to Highway 43.

Reunion Phase II and Reunion Phase III, known as the Reunion Parkway Project, are currently under construction and would be financed in the package. MDOT will construct ramps for Reunion at I-55 in a widening project between Madison and Gluckstadt. 

Bozeman Road Phase I and Bozeman Road Phase II, which have come under heavy scrutiny with board bickering in the early months of the year, would also be funded in the plan.

Calhoun Station Parkway, West County Line Road and Wheatley Street will also see improvements. 

“We’d like to build some roads,” Higginbotham said. 

Higginbotham asked the board to approve the plan so he could bring back a financing plan for the construction of the projects. 

“This is something we all have agreed upon and been working towards and something very important for the county,” Board President Gerald Steen said. 

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter asked what the price tag of all the projects was, with Higginbotham responding that current estimates are around $250 million. 

“It is a lot of money,” he said. “These projects are not cheap. These things do take time. Between now and probably 2034 is when I would expect the end of the borrowing to happen.”

District 1 Supervisor Casey Brannon asked if the current financial models accounted for increased revenue from the $15 billion Amazon Web Services  investment 

Higginbotham said this would not account for any of the money. He said it also would not include a change in how the millage is partitioned out or an increase in taxes on residents. 

Brannon asked if the county would be borrowing one lump sum or if this would come in chunks. 

“We’ll borrow it as needed rather than one lump sum,” he said, adding they will limit the borrowing to these specific projects. 

Higginbotham said this would also not impact the county’s $5 million short-term bonds they take out once a term to do road paving projects throughout the county. 

“This is an entirely different animal,” he said. 

Steen said the board has committed close to $150 million already, with Higginbotham saying it was closer to $100 million. 

“I would like to commend this board on this,” Higginbotham said. “It’s never easy to get five people to agree on things, particularly these five people.”

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin asked if the board would come back to prioritize the projects that have not yet been started, but Higginbotham said he was trying to work out the financing so everything can be started at the same time. 

While some projects are under construction, other projects will be in pre-construction. Once construction is finished in some projects and pre-construction is finished on others, the latter would then fall into the construction mode. 

“This is a big step for Madison County,” Steen said. 

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