On Friday, December 13, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, along with the Governor and State and Local Legislators, broke ground on the I-10/Cook Road Connector Project. The new $30 million commercial corridor will span 2.6 miles from the east end of Mallett Road in D’Iberville to Seaman Road near exit 50 in St. Martin. Two lanes of traffic will flow in each direction with a combination of a median and turning lane in the center, along with bike lanes on both sides of the road. It will complement the existing commercial centers in the vicinity while creating a unique development opportunity for Jackson County to strengthen the local economy.
The Cook Road Corridor Land Use and Development Standards include design standards and guidelines for building placement, architectural treatment, parking and access, landscape, signage, allowed land use, and streetscape. These standards emphasize uniformity while allowing for flexibility in types of development and encouraging a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment to ensure long-term value for property owners, business owners, residents, and visitors.
Initial discussion of an urban connector road began almost two decades ago with the foresight of continued growth in the St. Martin area. Approximately $11 million was invested in preliminary work which began in 2007. This included $6 million in acquiring right-of-way as well as administrative work, environmental assessments, clearing property, and moving utilities. Neel-Schaffer completed the engineering and design in 2019.
The Jackson County I-10/Cook Road Connector Project is being funded in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies. Between 2005-2010, $8.4 million in Federal Earmarks, administered through the Office of State Aid Road Construction, were awarded for preliminary work. Additionally, $15 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) will be used toward construction of the project. Finally, funds were made available for this project by the Mississippi State Legislature (2016-2019) under Senate Bill 2002 and administered through the MS Department of Finance and Administration. The County will invest a total of $2.6 million in matching funds.
Construction of the road is expected to take approximately 18 months and will be done in two phases that will overlap. The first phase (Mallett Road to Victoria Drive) was awarded to Holden Construction on October 7, 2019. Phase II (Victoria Drive to Seaman Road) will be bid in 2020. The project engineer is Neel-Schaffer.
Summary of Funding:
$8.4M in Federal Earmarks
$15M RESTORE Act
$2M Senate Bill 2002 (2018)
$2.6M Jackson County
The groundbreaking was held on Thomas Street off of Cook Road.