By NATHAN GREGORY
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors will discuss and consider ordering County Engineer Clyde Pritchard to program Old Highway 25 during its regular meeting Monday at the county courthouse.
Old Highway 25 qualifies for funding from the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction, which assists counties in the construction and maintenance of secondary, non-state owned roads and bridges. Programming the former state road, which now connects Louisville Street to Miss. Highway 25, designates the road to be included in the county’s State Aid System.
The road is in portions of districts 4 and 5. District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson said repairing base failures and resurfacing the road was last reported to be a $700-$800,000 project, and the county did not have enough funding in its Surface Transportation Program budget to go forward with making the improvements.
County Road Manager Victor Collins said officials from OSARC visited the site for an evaluation and confirmed the road met the criteria to be eligible for federal funding.
Jackson said he realized there were several roads in the county that needed attention, but Old Highway 25 should be considered a high priority because it was a heavily used south entrance into Starkville. Combining STP funds with money allocated from OSARC could help the county begin rehabilitating the road more quickly than if funding was only available from one source, he said.
“The road is definitely deteriorated and the money needed to make repairs on that stretch, as of now, is not sitting there waiting on us. We definitely know it’s a major artery that needs immediate attention, and we have about a half million dollars in our STP fund, but not enough to do three and a half miles,” Jackson said. “By doing this we’ll at least … (be eligible for) money left over in the (OSARC) fund. We’ll have our plan sitting there waiting and they can allocate us the money if other counties haven’t used it in time.”
Collins said obtaining OSARC funding could at least help the county get a portion of the road repaired and repaved.
“We don’t know how much we would be able to do because we don’t know how much funding is going to be available,” Collins said.