DeSoto County Puts I-269 on Fast-Track

Wed February 15, 2006 - Southeast Edition

HERNANDO, MS (AP) DeSoto County supervisors have signed a pact to speed up work on the Interstate 269 loop in the eastern part of the county.

The agreement called for the county to use its borrowing power to help the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) build the road.

Interstate 69 is under construction between Hernando and U.S. 61 under a similar agreement by Tunica County officials. To DeSoto’s east, Marshall County officials are working with the state to build I-269 from the DeSoto line to Tennessee 385.

I-269 is proposed to run from the junction of Interstate 55 and I-69, north of Hernando, east and north through Marshall County into Tennessee.

An MDOT program allows local governments to borrow the money to pay for major projects, with the state repaying the loans from future federal revenues.

The first segment of I-69 in Mississippi, from I-55 to U.S. 61, has been under construction since 2005 and is scheduled to be open by November.

The Tunica County Board of Supervisors borrowed the money for the project, primarily in DeSoto County, to provide a better route for gamblers and tourists to travel to Tunica.

The route of I-269 east of I-55 has been selected, and environmental studies of the corridor are continuing.

Officials have estimated it would cost $150 million to $170 million to complete 16 miles of I-269 in DeSoto County.

MDOT’s engineers have speculated the road would be open in 10 to 12 years.