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Senator Roger Wicker discusses infrastructure bill benefits for Mississippi with MDOT officials

Senator Roger Wicker discusses infrastructure bill

benefits for Mississippi with MDOT officials (w/VIDEO)

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JACKSON, MISS. – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker met with the Mississippi Transportation Commission and MDOT Executive Director Brad White on Thursday Morning.

Senator Wicker serves as the ranking member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He also serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Together, the two committees have oversight over a large portion of the nation’s infrastructure needs and were key to negotiating the scope of the Senate’s recently passed bipartisan infrastructure package that is now pending in the House of Representatives.

Senator Wicker recently voted in favor of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. He spoke with MDOT officials about the benefits of the package, which would provide the Magnolia State with about $3.3 billion for roads and highways and $225 million for bridges.

Wicker noted that MDOT and Mississippi cities and counties have over 6,000 miles of highway and over 1,000 bridges rated in poor condition that would stand to benefit from the package. The senator also spoke to the Commissioners about existing federal funding opportunities for Mississippi infrastructure projects and his support for the state’s applications for federal transportation infrastructure grants.

For information about MDOT maintenance and construction projects, visit MDOTtraffic.com, download the free MDOT Traffic mobile app or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for providing a safe intermodal transportation network that is planned, designed, constructed and maintained in an effective, cost-efficient and environmentally sensitive manner. MDOT’s objective is to maximize taxpayer’s dollars by providing a safe, efficient multimodal network that enhances economic stability and growth. For more information, visit GoMDOT.com.

VOSOT SCRIPT BELOW

VO:

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker met with the Mississippi Transportation Commission, MDOT Executive Director Brad White, some state legislators and other transportation officials on Thursday Morning.

Senator Wicker serves as the ranking member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He also serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Together, the two committees have oversight over a large portion of the nation’s infrastructure needs and were key to negotiating the scope of the Senate’s recently passed bipartisan infrastructure package that is now pending in the House of Representatives.

Senator Wicker recently voted in favor of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. He spoke with MDOT officials about the benefits of the package, which would provide the Magnolia State with about $3.3 billion for roads and highways and $225 million for bridges.

Wicker noted that along with MDOT, Mississippi cities and counties have nearly 6,000 miles of highway and over 1,000 bridges rated in poor condition that would stand to benefit from the package.

Brad White added Mississippi plans to spend the federal funds wisely and efficiently. White says currently MDOT needs an additional $400 million per year for paving and $50 million annually for bridges in order to bring the state’s infrastructure up to standard.

Tom King, Chair, Mississippi Transportation Commission

KING SOT: “It was a great meeting, we appreciate the Senator being here with us and giving us the low down and rundown rather of what’s going on with the federal money, where we are and what Mississippi’s part will be in the federal money coming to us.”

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker

WICKER SOT: “This is a great opportunity for us to help replace bridges that have been condemned by the federal government, and the federal government sometimes in their power and wisdom come down here and say close that bridge or don’t put a school bus over that bridge and the county officials and state officials say well how do we pay for these repairs? The federal government up to now says, it’s up to you to figure out. This infrastructure bill is twice as big as our normal five year re-authorization of infrastructure so it’s an opportunity to catch up and really make a difference around the state in all of our 82 counties.”

Brad White, MDOT Executive Director

WHITE SOT: “Regardless of the politics of the infrastructure bill that’s in Congress now, it’s our responsibility here in Mississippi to spend whatever federal dollars we get wisely and responsibly, and we certainly have the needs the money could be put on immediately, whether that be capacity projects, whether that be paving projects around the state, whether that be bridge projects, whether that be other safety measures that can be done in the way of traffic signals and other issues, signage around the state. We enjoyed a good meeting with Senator Wicker talking about those needs and assuring him that the money would be spent wisely if it ever came to Mississippi in that way.”

VO (continued):

Wicker also spoke to the Commissioners about existing federal funding opportunities for Mississippi infrastructure projects and his support for the state’s applications for federal transportation infrastructure grants.