Transportation Commissioner from the South discusses the expansion of I-10 and the shutdown of the Louisiana-bound Highway 90 bridge.

According to Southern District Transportation Commissioner Charles Busby, widening I-10 to six lanes from Diamondhead to Long Beach comes with a price tag of $155 million. In his opinion, the entire I-10 corridor requires this upgrade. WLOX News reported this development.

According to him, widening I-10 is essential across Mississippi, from Louisiana to Alabama.

According to Busby, the interstate in Harrison and Jackson counties already consists of six lanes, covering a significant stretch. However, he pointed out that the Gautier to the Alabama line section requires widening, as it experiences a high volume of traffic. Additionally, the bottleneck in Pascagoula creates further challenges for commuters and motorists.

According to the speaker, the Pascagoula River Bridge presents a significant challenge and will make the section very costly. He expressed uncertainty about the best solution at the moment, suggesting that constructing another two-lane bridge and implementing a toll system may be a viable option.

According to Busby, the Pearl River Bridge connecting Louisiana faces a similar predicament. The cost of expanding it to six lanes would run into millions of dollars. Despite being a bridge connecting both states, Mississippi is responsible for its maintenance.

According to the speaker, many individuals may not be aware of how the bridge system operates. Each bridge has alternating responsibility between Louisiana and Mississippi. The first bridge, known as the Highway 90 bridge, falls under Louisiana’s responsibility. The second bridge, which is located on I-10, is the responsibility of Mississippi. As the bridges progress, responsibility alternates between the two states. Moving forward, both Louisiana and Mississippi will need to take responsibility for their respective bridges. Louisiana will need to do their part for the closed Highway 90 bridge, while Mississippi will need to do their part for the Pearl River Bridge.

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Inspectors declared the Highway 90 bridge leading to Louisiana unsafe for travel in 2022, resulting in its closure. The Louisiana lawmakers have acknowledged that the state presently lacks the necessary funds to replace the bridge. Moreover, they have also stated that it may take up to five years before any work commences on the bridge’s replacement.

According to Busby, the Mississippi Lottery is playing a significant role in the repair and construction of roads and bridges while Louisiana explores funding options.

According to the speaker, a significant portion of the lottery money has been allocated towards the maintenance program. As a result, there has been a lot of repaving work that has been undertaken on Highway 49, which has been made possible due to the lottery funds.

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