MDOT's Budget Cut Could Slash Jobs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/12/04

MDOT's Budget Cut Could Slash Jobs

TL Wallace Construction has until June 8th to finish the new Highway 605 bridges in Harrison County. For its employees, finding MDOT road work right after that shouldn't be a problem.

Kelly Castleberry is an MDOT engineer.

"There is a lot of work going on," he said while standing under the newly built overpass. "And we're hiring personnel at this time to fulfill obligations that we're required to do for the state."

A year or two down the line, things could get dicey. The legislature just slashed MDOT's budget. As a result, road projects will likely slow down. Thousands of workers just like Frederick Fairley could be out of work.

"I would have to go try to find me something else to do," he said.

Transportation commissioner Wayne Brown said MDOT's funding restriction won't affect projects already under construction. And it won't hurt projects such as the Canal Road connector to I-10, because it's already part of the Vision 21 program.

However, he said the cuts will delay the Biloxi connector to the interstate, roadwork improvements on Highway 43 in Pearl River County, a five lane project through Picayune, and a Highway 63 widening project in Lucedale.

Contractors will have to adjust their thinking to keep their road crews busy. Carlos Morales is a quality control supervisor for the TL Wallace group.

"We have licenses in Louisiana and Alabama," he said. "And if we have to, we could go over there and work. But we don't want to."

In the short term, that won't be necessary. MDOT engineers said Mississippi still has plenty of road projects under contract that must be finished.

The Senate Transportation Committee chairman is Gulfport Senator Billy Hewes. He called the road funding predicament "a bitter pill to swallow." But he also said MDOT should be able to survive the next two years with less road money.

However, if the funding cuts extend past 2005, Hewes said that would probably cripple future road projects all over Mississippi.

by Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:53:04 GMT
    Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>
  • Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:45:48 GMT
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>
  • People enjoy a Saturday outdoors before Alberto arrives

    People enjoy a Saturday outdoors before Alberto arrives

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:36 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:36:15 GMT
    People watch as kite surfers move along the water in Biloxi. (Source: WLOX)People watch as kite surfers move along the water in Biloxi. (Source: WLOX)
    People watch as kite surfers move along the water (Source: WLOX)People watch as kite surfers move along the water (Source: WLOX)

    Saturday in Biloxi was literally the calm before the storm. Everyone is still keeping a close eye on where Alberto is headed, and just trying to enjoy the good weather as long as it lasts.

    More >>

    Saturday in Biloxi was literally the calm before the storm. Everyone is still keeping a close eye on where Alberto is headed, and just trying to enjoy the good weather as long as it lasts.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly