I-59 welcome center reopens Friday

PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - The Pearl River County Welcome Center on Interstate 59 is welcoming travelers once again to Mississippi. The center has been closed nine months for parking lot renovations.

The work cost about $910,000 and was partially paid for with federal stimulus funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. In spring 2009, the welcome center building and guard shack were renovated.

More than 150,000 people visited the 1-59 Welcome Center in Pearl River County in 2009. Officials say that number was lower than usual due to the renovation work.

The building and parking lots now meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements which makes the welcome center handicapped assessable. The ADA changes included adding ramps to key areas of the parking lot, and reducing the height of the countertops in side the building.

Outside there's new lighting, a new Mississippi sign, electrical work, a new lift station and grounds landscaping.

Officials will hold a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. to officially open the facility. To help celebrate the occasion, the Picayune Chamber of Commerce also host its annual Christmas Open House on the Welcome Center grounds.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.