The city of Oxford and Lafayette County will receive three million dollars for the joint extension of West Oxford Loop, due to the Mississippi House and Senate approval of the House Bill 1535 on Monday.
Representative Brad Mayo and Senator Gray Tollison of Oxford held the funding approval as a priority.
Rep. Mayo said, “Just this week, the numbers proved what we know: Lafayette County is the fastest growing county in the state. This will ease traffic and allow people to get around more quickly. I would like to thank Senator Tollison for working with me to make this a legislative priority.”
He shared his appreciation further: “Without the support of Speaker Philip Gunn and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, this would not have happened. We also appreciate the support of Ole Miss on this project.”
The city and county will receive the money together because parts of West Oxford Loop are outside the city limits. This is a long-awaited funding for those who have been interested in expanding the roads in Oxford, particularly the West Oxford Loop and the Sisk Avenue.
Last November the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors and the Oxford Board of Aldermen both voted to split the possible funding into half for each possible expansion for these roads in an agreement known as Regional Economic Development Act (REDA). Here on page 30 of the agreement posted on the city’s website this January one can read then-plans for these road expansions.
The West Oxford Loop, once complete, will extend from its intersection at Anderson Road to State Highway 314, also known as Old Sardis Road.
House Speaker Philip Gunn, who worked closely with both Rep. Mayo and the chairmen of both money committees for this project, said, “Representative Mayo continues to work tirelessly for Oxford and Lafayette County. Without his leadership, this funding would not have happened.”
Sen. Tollison was also thankful. He said, “I’m grateful for the support of Lieutenant Governor and the Senate in recognizing the infrastructure needs of our growing community and providing $3 million in state funds for the West Oxford Loop expansion. As one of fastest growing counties in the state, this project will give much-needed relief for residents and visitors.”
The visitors, especially those who come to Ole Miss football games, have kept the roads packed after the football games on their drive home. The traffic was thick to point of several drivers being redirected by the Oxford police into Anderson Road to reroute to Highway 278 for westbound travel to Batesville and beyond. The widening of West Oxford Loop may provide relief for those traveling on the route to avoid the gameday traffic entering or exiting the city.
Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves remarked on the importance of this project.
“Lafayette County has seen remarkable growth that has increased pressure on local infrastructure,” said Lieutenant Gov. Reeves. “I am pleased we could end the session investing in road and bridge improvements, including the West Oxford Loop.”
Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.