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City is right in pursuing east-west connecting road in south Vicksburg

It was a single line of print in a resolution passed by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Alderman recently. It read simply, “The city of Vicksburg has determined that a road from Hwy. 61 South to the sports complex is not needed at this time.”

While that resolution, adopted May 24, appears to have once and for all quashed the idea of a road leading from U.S. Highway 61 near Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi, it in no way crushed the dream by city leaders — and many residents — of an east-west thoroughfare in south Vicksburg that connects the main roads of U.S. Highway 61 South and Mississippi 27. In fact, putting aside the hope of having a second entrance and exit from the increasingly popular sports complex might have very well fanned the flames for such an idea even more.

South Vicksburg has lagged behind other parts of the city in industrial, retail and residential development for many reasons, one of which would be the lack of infrastructure, particularly highway infrastructure development in the area.

While there are east-west routes from one side of the city to the other, those routes are mainly through neighborhoods and small city streets.

What is needed is a main thoroughfare, allowing larger volumes of traffic to quickly cut across without having to go all the way to Interstate 20 and then back down again another street.

Doing so would not only relieve traffic congestion on Halls Ferry Road and Fisher Ferry Road, but could also ignite additional development along U.S. 61 South that is desperately needed.

No one can say if a road is constructed from U.S. 61 South to Mississippi 27 restaurants and other retail outlets would come flocking to the south Vicksburg area, but the investment in infrastructure would show retailers and developers that south Vicksburg is open for business. It would show we as a city are willing to make the investment in growing all of our city.

As Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said when announcing a plan to build a connecting road through the south Vicksburg area, “we need that road.” We could not agree more.