Co-Lin officials back road from I-55 to campus

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 5, 2004

WESSON – Area officials are looking to revive a project to buildan access road between Interstate 55 and Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege.

School trustees endorsed the concept Thursday after LincolnCounty Supervisors President Bobby J. Watts and County EngineerCarl Ray Furr met earlier in the day with the board’s executivecommittee. School officials indicated the new effort is in itspreliminary stages.

“At this point, there’s nothing really concrete,” said MeltonKing, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

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Several years ago, Lincoln and Copiah counties received $2million to construct the road to the school. A meeting withpotentially-affected landowners was held to discuss theproject.

However, the project stalled after the counties were unable toagree on a route. The money now has been withdrawn by theMississippi Department of Transportation, said Co-Lin President Dr.Howell Garner.

Garner said county officials were hopeful that statetransportation commissioners would restore the funding if theCo-Lin board lent their support for the road project.

Garner said the project would involve reworking about one mileof road off the Mount Zion Road interchange and construction ofabout two miles of new road to connect the college to theinterstate. He said there were a couple of routes that could betaken.

“I think there’s some possibilities of a route that would workat this point,” Garner said.

In considering routes and how to proceed with the road, Garneradded that the school wanted to maintain good relations with itsneighbors.

“We’ve talked about this for a great number of years to havesafe and effective access from the interstate into campus,” Kingsaid.

Trustee Dr. Steve Wells said the potential value of the accessroad to students and the school warranted the board looking intothe project. His motion to endorse the project and to authorizeGarner to work with county leaders on the project passedunanimously.

In addition to access to Co-Lin, the northern Lincoln Countyarea was on a list of possible sites for a industrial park.

“The Mount Zion intersection is a potential industrial parkarea,” said Tommy Sasser, board of trustees secretary.