New Corridor Coming to the Coast

Highway 90 is one of the few ways you can travel nonstop across Harrison County but the Coast Transit Authority has something new in mind. The CTA wants to create a new east-west corridor. News 25’s Bryan Kennedy has more from today’s meeting with the Harrison County Board of Supervisors where CTA rolled out its plans.
Cars, trucks and buses frequent Pass Road and Highway 90 on a daily basis for east west travel, sharing that space with the trains that travel along the tracks in between. But the Coast Transit Authority is paving the way for another east-west corridor.
The first step is a $1.4 million study on the project’s potential impact on the environment. Today, the CTA asked supervisors for $25,000 to help fund it but the bulk of the bill would be paid for with Katrina money. CTA Executive Director Kevin Coggin said, “We wanted to keep that money in the community, that $1.1 million, in the community and repurpose it to open the scope up to an intermodal transportation corridor.”
The new intermodal corridor would stretch along the north side of the railroad in Harrison County with large transit hubs in Gulfport and Biloxi. “This study will take us to the point where we have environmental approvals to actually apply for the funding to build the roadway. That’s the difference between this effort and prior efforts,” said Coggin.
An area on Lorraine Road, just north of Highway 90, is one area that is targeted by transportation officials as a place for a potential economic development district, one of the many positives county leaders see with the possible corridor. Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco said, “You know the railroad has always been the stopping point for the storms. If you remember, HWY 90 was totally destroyed. Having another corridor east and west would be of vital importance to the Coast.”
No official word yet on the total cost and timeline for the project but the CTA is already creating cost-cutting measures. “Our approach to build it in segments we think makes it a lot more feasible to get federal dollars from federal transit and federal highway to do it. It’s going to be a much smaller ask,” said Coggin.
The CTA has already received funding for the 18 month study from the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport. The Harrison County Board of Supervisors voted to table the vote on whether they’ll help out with funding, a measure they plan to take up again at next week’s meeting.
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