Vancleave bypass delayed because money 'not readily available'

Vancleave bypass delayed because money 'not readily available'

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - The much-anticipated Highway 57 bypass around Vancleave is reportedly off MDOT's radar. Jackson County supervisors have been told by MDOT the construction project lost its funding source.

Without money for construction, Supervisor Randy Bosarge says building a new road around Vancleave to ease congestion on Highway 57 is no longer viable. But that doesn't mean it's not needed.

"The expansion of Hwy 57 from two lanes to four lanes is very important for the growth of Jackson County," said Supervisor Randy Bosarge.

Timing seems to be the main issue behind MDOT's decision to postpone bypass work. Supervisors have been told efforts to acquire land along the path of the bypass have taken longer than MDOT anticipated.

"They expected to get underway by now," Bosarge said. However, MDOT still has land to purchase and utilities to relocate.

Because of the delays, Supervisor Bosarge said MDOT moved construction for the Highway 57 bypass to other road projects.

Some Vancleave residents attended a special meeting Tuesday night, expecting to hear an MDOT official speak on the progress of the project. News of the delay was disheartening to those who travel Hwy 57 every day.

"It's always very bad, and right around here by the school, especially, it's always congested," said Vancleave resident Jessica Luke. "There definitely should be some more roads around here to get in and out of this area. This is the only main thoroughfare and this is where everyone travels when they're coming and going to work."

As far as the county is concerned, the project is out of their hands.

"It's pretty much a state project. The county will help out any way we can as far as support or whatever," said Bosarge.

Several Vancleave residents who were forced to sell part of their land for the project are not happy about the deal now that the project is now delayed indefinitely.

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