STONE COUNTY — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) announced the award of a $357,000 federal grant that will go toward a road improvement project in Stone County to support timber-related jobs.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) approved the economic adjustment grant, which will use the funding to upgrade a one-mile segment of Old Highway 49 to support heavy vehicle access.
“Stone County leaders have promoted this resurfacing project to improve the transportation infrastructure and improve the county’s economic development outlook. This federal funding will be matched with county and state money to support and expand businesses moving into this area off Old Highway 49,” Cochran said.
The targeted roadway, currently covered with a gravel surface, is near the intersection of Inda Road, south of Wiggins. The overall project will cost an estimated $714,700 with the county providing $32,500 and the remaining funds expected from the Mississippi Development Authority.
According to the EDA, the project will attract private investments and “improve access and allow utilization of the region’s timber resources for production of alternative energy products.” This segment of Old Highway 49 is currently home to two companies involved in producing wood pellets used in wood burning heaters.