WLBT-TV Jackson

Lawmakers approve $12M more for Reunion Pkwy., Bozeman Rd.

By Anthony Warren

MADISON CO., Miss. (WLBT) - If it’s approved by the governor, Madison County will have an additional $12 million for a major transportation project.

The House and Senate recently approved conference reports for H.B. 603, which includes a $12 million allocation to help the county pay for costs associated with the Reunion Parkway and Bozeman Road expansion project.

“Now that we have all the funding sources put together, which was funding from [Sen.] Cindy Hyde [Smith] and [Rep.] Michael Guest, plus the state funding and some CMPDD funding, we’re $30 million short for all three projects,” said District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter. “We’ve got to come up with $30 million.”

H.B. 603 is now on its way to Gov. Tate Reeves for his signature.

The passage comes weeks after the county awarded Neel Schaffer Engineering a roughly $2.5 million contract to oversee construction on the Bozeman Road project. Construction should be bid out this summer.

It also comes more than a month after the board of supervisors awarded a $22.7 million to Hemphill Construction for the Reunion Parkway Project Phase Three.

Work on Bozeman includes widening the roadway from two to four lanes and adding a divided median between Mississippi 463 and Reunion Parkway. It also includes adding a multiuse trail from 463 to Gluckstadt Road and making improvements at the intersection of Bozeman and Gluckstadt.

That project has taken longer than expected because of right-of-way issues. “We had about 55 parcels of land, and you know, we had to negotiate with each and every owner, and we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. We had to go back and forth,” Baxter said. “We’ve bought it all. So, it’s coming soon.”

Phase three of Reunion, meanwhile, calls for building a new, two-lane road from Parkway East to U.S. 51. The second phase of Reunion includes building a flyover along the interstate. He expects the Reunion Two project to be awarded in the next 60 days.

“It’s probably going to be two-and-a-half years total from start to finish,” Baxter said, referring to all three projects. “And that’s going to create some traffic issues. Bozeman is an existing road... we build two lanes, shut down two lanes, and move the traffic over. Reunion Two, the bridge-building, shouldn’t create that many traffic concerns.”

Once completed, the project is expected to provide a new east-west corridor for residents and help accommodate additional growth in the county and in Baxter’s district.

“Madison is constrained by its east-west corridors. Our people, our citizens in the morning, can’t get on the interstate to get to work, because all we really have is 463 and Bozeman... And Bozeman has over 20,000 cars a day on it,” Bozeman said. “So, we kind of bottleneck in the morning.”

“This will give people the opportunity to not only get on the interstate but go to 51 also,” he said. “So, it’s going to be a huge improvement. And not only that but when they get on the interstate’s going to be wider. So, it’s going to be able to free up those traffic jams in the morning, as the interstate backs up from Gluckstadt.”