GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – Scott Road in George County is back open after major repairs from a joint city-county and state initiative.

The $1.6 million project took seven years from when the county first pitched the project to the day J.E. Talley Construction from Pascagoula painted the last stripe at the end of the summer.

Leaders from the county, City of Lucedale and local businesses on the road, along with state lawmakers, celebrated the completion of the work with a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Nov. 9.

About $1.35 million of the project was funded by state grants, including $480,000 from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund- part of the state’s share of the BP oil spill settlement intended to spur economic activity in the region. The funds were allocated over three different legislative sessions before construction began in October 2021.

“We’ve never had the opportunities that we’ve got now with the legislators for the city and the county,” said District 5 Supervisor Henry Cochran. “I’ve seen [money] for years go elsewhere and I wondered why we couldn’t get any of it. We feel like we’re getting something now and we really appreciate that.”

The westbound lane of the road is maintained by the city while the eastbound lane falls under the county. The governments split the remaining costs to complete the project.

Planning included securing right-of-way easements for 14 different parcels along the road. Ditches along the road were filled and replaced with curbs and gutters to make drivers safer and to limit interference with utilities along the road.

Scott Road shown pre-construction (Google Street View, January 2016) and post-construction (courtesy Batson & Brown, Fall 2022).

Crews widened the roadway, repaired the foundation, improved stormwater drainage, relocated several major utilities and repaved the road- slightly over a half-mile long. Supervisors said the road, one of the first paved in the county, frequently flooded after heavy rain and was a regular point of complaint from citizens.

“I’d almost say it’s a resurrection of Scott Road because it is not what we started with. It is a truly different creature out here. Scott Road, it’s a short road, but it truly connects east and west George County together,” said Board of Supervisors President Frankie Massey.

Cochran said it was important to him for at least one lane to remain open during the entire construction process to allow school buses, employees and customers at local businesses and other local traffic to keep using it. About 700 vehicles use the road daily.

Lucedale Mayor Doug Lee said Wednesday that other joint city-county projects are in the works. The city has made a request for state funds to be allocated during the 2023 legislative session to complete construction on Cowart Street.