Supes OK $92M for road work

Supes OK $92M for road work


Madison County supervisors will borrow up to $92 million over the next three years to fund a massive transportation plan focusing on capacity projects. 

Dubbed the Madison County Capacity Improvement Plan, 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 a 5-lane widening from Lake Caroline to Deweese Road and realigning the road. Phase II also 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, and a traffic signal will be installed at both intersections. 

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 will 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.

Also included in the bonding package, which is outside of capacity projects, will be the availability to borrow towards the estimated $16 million courthouse renovation project.

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said he wanted to make sure there was a “fence” around the money being borrowed so that it could only be used on these specific projects and not be moved around. 

County Administrator Greg Higginbotham said bond counsel would place restrictive language to ensure that the projects adopted are the only projects for which the money can be spent. 

The road projects total about $250 million, but Higginbotham told supervisors they would not be borrowing one lump sum of money and sitting on it. 

“This pot of money is going to be borrowed on an as-needed basis,” he explained. “We know we’re going to need $22 million in that first year.”

He said until invoices start coming in, that’s when they will need the money. 

“That’s great,” Board President Gerald Steen said. “That’s the way it needs to be.”

Thad Varner, bond counsel with Butler Snow, told supervisors they have two years to issue the bonds. Higginbotham pointed out that it’s good for two calendar years, but actually extends to three of the county’s fiscal years.

Higginbotham said they were looking at $22 million the first year and then roughly $35 million for the next two years. 

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