Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Greater Hattiesburg is part of the Southern District known as District 6. Current Commissioner Tom King is a part of a three-member team charged with oversight, with the authority and responsibility for all modes of transportation throughout South Mississippi, i.e. highways, etc.
Currently there are five main projects in South Mississippi that fall under this oversight:
- Highway 11 at Green's Creek - Evelyn Gandy Parkway (Total bridge replacement; Projected Completion: December 2013)
- Highway 11 between Purvis and Lumberton (Bridge replacement - Total 5; Projected Completion: March 2014)
- Highway 49 South - South Gate Interchange at Camp Shelby (Reconstruction; Projected Start: October 2015)
For additional information visit the MDOT website.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
Created by Federal and State law to develop transportation plans and programs which encourage and promote the implementation of transportation systems, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a regional transportation planning agency operated by the City of Hattiesburg Urban Development Division.
The HPFL-MPO is responsible for integrated planning of transportation systems in the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal, and parts of Lamar County and Forrest County, Mississippi. To qualify for federal highway or transit assistance, MPO focuses on urban area planning in cities with a population of more than 50,000. Federal regulations guide the short and long-term transportation plans that are developed and implemented to meet community objectives through collaboration with regional officials from various municipalities and counties. The forecast years for the Hattiesburg Plan are 2010, 2020 and 2030.
For additional information please visit the City of Hattiesburg website's MPO page.
Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) has embarked upon a $70M project that expands from Gulfport, MS to Hattiesburg, MS and will take approximately 3-4 years to complete. KCS representatives have been traveling South Mississippi hosting a number of meetings to explain the entire project and to seek out potential suppliers and contractors. KCS is especially seeking Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and Section 3* Businesses.
*Section 3 Businesses must meet one of the following criteria:
- 51% or more of the business is owned by low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents
- 30% of the employed staff are LMI
- 25% of the subcontracts are committed to Section 3 businesses
- Section 3 does not take race or gender into consideration; therefore, has no bearing on Women or Minority Owned Businesses/Enterprises
This project will be completed in phases and upon completion will allow KCS’ speed service to increase from the current speed rate of 10 miles per hour to 49 miles per hour.
Phase 1: Began during the summer 2011 and will run through spring 2012. The project will consist of:
- Installing approximately 1,000 cross ties per mile or 67,500 total cross ties
- Installing approximately 59 track miles of 115-pound head hardened rail
- Replacing two major bridges and general maintenance for 19 other bridges
- 100% renewal of all main line crossings during rail relay and tie installation
- Rehabilitating 43 main line turnouts, and
- Upgrading two sets of cross bucks to gates and flashers
Phase 2: Will be completed no later than 4 years following Phase 1. The project will consist of:
- Gulfport port yard rehab work
- Additional track to be installed
- Bridge work continues
The benefits of this project are numerous:
- KCS will be able to utilize double-stack containers for transport
- It will greatly reduce transit time from 8.5 hours to 3.75 hours
- The public safety aspect will be a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and will take the 3E approach: Education, Engineering and Enforcement. Education to law enforcement groups and others to ensure the project scope is clear. Engineering is ensuring that the proper hardware at the site is adequate to make the general public aware of a train’s approach. MDOT will assist with determining the best traffic control for a particular location. Enforcement is key among those groups that are entrusted with comprehensive enforcement of all safety aspects.
Visit the KCS website for additional information or for current RFPs.
Port of Gulfport
Officials with the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport have embarked upon a $1 billion project to completely upgrade and expand the Port to coincide with the anticipated Panama Canal expansion. Officially announced in September 2008, this project will allow the current 210 acre facility to expand to approximately 1,000 acres. Known as the 2nd largest importer of green fruit in the US and the 3rd busiest container port in the US Gulf of Mexico, the Port handled over 21.5 tons of cargo in 2010 with vast improvements in container activity. The Port currently houses three terminals: Dole Corp, Chiquita Brands, Inc. and Crowley Maritime.
At the present time, the Port is a bulk, break-bulk and container facility including the following:
- Over 400,000 sq. ft. of covered storage
- Has 2 mobile harbor cranes
- Is an open container storage with reefer plug outlets
- Bulk material unloading system
- Dockside and off dock storage
- Customs secured boundaries with roving patrols
- Container freight station
- Ro-Ro ramp
The project scope includes:
- Dredging, deepening and widening of the channel up to 45 feet
- Port property would be elevated 25 feet in an effort to avoid major damage from future hurricanes
- A buffer, complete with landscaping, would be placed between the city and the Port
- Permitting would take approximately 2 years with another 5 – 7 years of construction
Port officials are working with MDOT and rail lines to accomplish this project. To track the Port expansion progress, please visit Port of the Future.com.
Additional information can be found at the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport website.
Major Project Milestones as of August 10, 2011
- May 2011: Released procurement request for dredging proposals.
- May 2011: Department of Housing and Urban Development released second request of Community Development Block Grant funds.
- March 2011: 60-acre West Pier fill project completed. More than 1.9 million cubic yards of fill deposited.
Greater Hattiesburg offers a variety of options for travel in and out of the area, including many local, regional, national and international airports. Visit their sites to see range of services and flight information:
Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport (Hattiesburg, MS - 10mi)
Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (Hattiesburg/Laurel, MS - 10mi)
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (Gulfport/Biloxi, MS - 70mi)
Jackson-Evers International Airport (Jackson, MS - 90mi)
Mobile Regional Airport (Mobile, AL - 95mi)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (New Orleans, LA - 125mi)