BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) The Mississippi Department of Transportation is seeking to acquire several parcels of land through eminent domain as part of a state Highway 607 expansion project north of Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
The Sea Coast Echo reported that an eminent domain case was filed in the Hancock County Circuit Court seeking to acquire about 5 acres of land from 35 people and 19 estates.
MDOT said once all the land is acquired, it can begin moving utilities and advertise for bids on the rest of the project.
The expansion of Highway 607 has been under way since 2010.
Engineers say the planned expansion will extend the four-lane from Texas Flat Road to the Interstate 59 interchange at a cost of about $16 million.
MDOT hopes to begin construction in the first half of 2013.
MDOT said the four-lane road would alleviate congestion during high traffic times in and out of Stennis and also be used as a designated hurricane evacuation route.