Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Tuesday, city officials were joined by the Mississippi Development Authority’s Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. and COO Mike McGrevey, representatives from the Mississippi State Legislature and officials from The University of Southern Mississippi to officially break ground on the North 31st Avenue Midtown Enhancement Project.
This project, which began several years ago under the leadership of Mayor Johnny DuPree’s leadership when the first steps for the District at Midtown were taking shape, will create a boulevard from the District at Midtown into the heart of the Southern Miss campus, ending at Pearl Street by the Liberal Arts Building and the soon to be finished renovation of Joseph Greene Hall. It will address many of the drainage issues that exist near the North 31st Avenue and Pearl Street intersection, as well as make accommodations for the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians coming from the University Heights neighborhood into campus. It will also feature a median with street trees that will not only add to the beautification but also serve as another filter for stormwater.
The total cost for this project is $790,000, with the City contributing a little more than $160,000. The rest will be funded by the Mississippi Development Authority’s economic development highway funding – which was paired with the next Midtown project (slated to be around Forrest General Hospital/Hwy 49 and begin within the next year). Construction is expected to last approximately 6 months, with the road hopefully reopening before Thanksgiving.
“I can’t overstate what a friend Hattiesburg has in the Mississippi Development Authority under Glenn McCullough’s leadership,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “As we moved closer to construction, it was clear that we needed more funding to pull off this project. It took one call, and MDA immediately stepped forward to cover the additional cost.”