TIGER funds awarded to upgrade four river bridges

WEST MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been awarded TIGER Discretionary Grant funds to perform improvements on four Mississippi River bridges.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the allotment of $511 million in TIGER Discretionary Grant funds for total of 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico.

Officials from MDOT, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) and Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) met yesterday to sign a memorandum of understanding for the purpose of overseeing the utilization of TIGER Grant funds and private contributions for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) upgrades on the bridges along the Mississippi River.

“It became very clear after the flood back in May that we need to improve the way we monitor the Mississippi River and the bridges that cross it,” said Mississippi Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “The investment of a more accurate and timely monitoring system will be a benefit to not only Mississippians but everyone who depend on these bridges and waterway for economic and recreational purposes.”

The estimated project funding for Mississippi is $4.305 million federal and $403,750 private for a total of approximately $4.709 million.

Each of the locations in Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville and Helena, Ark., will receive multiple upgrades to the current monitoring system. These upgrades include CCTV cameras for monitoring highway and river traffic, permanent dynamic message signs that will be installed on the approach of each bridge to warn motorists of alerts in advance, traffic data collectors to measure traffic volume and speeds, an underwater acoustic Doppler radar system for tracking real-time river current data and a communication system to link all field devices to each state’s regional or statewide Traffic Management Center.

DELCAN, a private partner on this project, will provide incident management services and software for a fully integrated and seamless monitoring system.

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