Ellisville Hosts Ribbon Cutting For New Highway - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Ellisville Hosts Ribbon Cutting For New Highway

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Officials from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Jones County Junior College and the City of Ellisville gathered to celebrate a new highway Monday.

The 29 Bypass that is scheduled to open next week connects Hwy. 590 to Hwy. 29. Ellisville based company, Tanner Construction began the $12 million project in October 2011.

MDOT officials say the 2.5 mile long project included construction of a 2,000 ft. bridge.

Ellisville Mayor Tim Waldrup said the new bypass serves several purposes.  One is creating an alternate route for about 500 log trucks that usually pass through the City of Ellisville daily.

"This is going to be a great addition," Waldrup said.  "I hope we can not only get rid of the trucks coming through the city, but also this will be a new economic corridor available in Ellisville, and I think the way we're growing it will be filled before too many years."

State Representative Bobby Shows explained that when Waldrup was the VP of Student Affairs at JCJC, he and the former president, Dr. Ronald Whitehead went to Washington seeking funds for the project.  Former Congressman Gene Taylor was able to grant them $3.5 million for the project, but it never took off.

"When Tom King ran for Highway Commissioner he said 'I will get it done,' so I said, 'You will be my man," Shows told the crowd.

"I see more than a road out here," King said.  "I see economic development."

His promise was fulfilled as officials cut the ribbon to the new roadway that also provides another main entrance onto JCJC's campus.

"One of our biggest concerns any day is safety for our students coming in and out of campus, and it's very congested in the mornings and the afternoons primarily, but this is definitely a safer alternative," Jones President Jesse Smith said

He added this also provides the college with room to expand in the future.

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