May 29, 2015

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A connector road to Vicksburg’s future

Published 10:22 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Mississippi Development Authority last week approved a loan for the city to build a road connecting North Frontage Road and Wisconsin Avenue. This could be an extension of the economic boom the city is seeing over the last year.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday authorized Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to sign an agreement on the 20-year, $1.31 million loan, setting the payment at $7,281.48 a month, according to the loan documents.
The road will go from North Frontage Road east to Wisconsin Avenue across part of the old Battlefield Mall property, which is now owned by JEBCO LLC, the parent company for Blackburn Motors.
In November the Planning and Zoning Commission
approved rezoning the 22-acre tract owned by JEBCO LLC, the parent company for Blackburn Motors, from C-4 commercial to planned use development, a zoning designation that allows light industrial operations.
Proposed plans for the road are in anticipation of a possible move by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center to relocate the front of its facility from Halls Ferry Road to Wisconsin to reduce traffic on Halls Ferry. The traffic on Halls Ferry near the ERDC entrance can be heavy and dangerous.
“With Wisconsin really becoming such a business corridor, and the talks of ERDC possibly moving their entrance we believe it will be a big infrastructure change,” JEBCO representative Jeb Blackburn said previously.
A connector road between North Frontage and Wisconsin will help that business corridor expand. With the proposed expansion and reconfiguration of Interstate 20 through Vicksburg this move makes sense. The new road would also open new property for development.
The proposed changes to Interstate 20 include reducing the number of on and off ramps to the interstate as well as making the frontage roads one way on either side. The connector road would be another way for commuters to cross over the interstate without traveling a great distance.
Vicksburg is experiencing a renewed vision for the future that is paying dividends with an explosion of new businesses and construction downtown. Our community is moving in the right direction and it’s good to see new growth.