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ICYMI: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Visits Mississippi to Tour Infrastructure Projects, Break Ground on Medgar Evers Boulevard Rebuild, and Meet with Local Leaders

ICYMI: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Visits Mississippi to Tour Infrastructure Projects, Break Ground on Medgar Evers Boulevard Rebuild, and Meet with Local Leaders

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Congressman Bennie Thompson for a visit to Mississippi, where they visited the sites of new and ongoing infrastructure projects made possible thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, participated in a groundbreaking funded by the Biden-Harris Administration, and met with local business owners, elected officials, and community leaders.

Secretary Buttigieg, Reena Evers-Everett, and local leaders break ground on the Rebuilding Medgar Evers Blvd Project

The Secretary began his trip in Rosedale on Thursday, where he joined Congressman Thompson, Mississippi Transportation Commission Chairman Willie Simmons, and community leaders at the Rosedale Bolivar County Port, which received nearly $9 million in federal funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help improve efficiency at the port and lower costs for Mississippians, especially those in rural communities that rely on this port for their livelihoods.
 Secretary Buttigieg toured the port and talked with workers and port users who will benefit from the upcoming renovations. 

Secretary Buttigieg at Port of Rosedale
Secretary Buttigieg visits the Port of Rosedale

Secretary Buttigieg then headed to Greenville, where he participated in a community town hall with local elected officials and community leaders from the Mississippi Delta. During this event, the Secretary heard about the unique infrastructure needs of communities across the Delta.

Secretary participates in round table
Secretary Buttigieg participates in round table with local leaders in Greenville, MS

On Friday morning, the Secretary toured Total Transportation of Mississippi’s truck driver training facility. There, Secretary Buttigieg and FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Sue Lawless participated in an inspection and parking demonstration, then met with some of the women and veterans employed by TOTAL who exemplify the recruitment goals of Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan.

Secretary Buttigieg hears truck driver about truck inspections
Secretary Buttigieg hears about truck inspections from a driver at Total Transportation

Secretary Buttigieg then visited the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, where he joined Medgar and Myrlie’s daughter, Reena Evers-Everette, for a tour of the home. 

Secretary Buttigieg tours the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
Secretary Buttigieg tours the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument

Following the tour, Secretary Buttigieg, Congressman Thompson, Ms. Evers-Everette, Commissioner Simmons, and local leaders joined together for the groundbreaking ceremony and news conference celebrating the start of construction on the “Rebuilding Medgar Evers Boulevard” project. This project, funded by a $20 million RAISE grant made possible by the Biden-Harris Administration, will reconstruct a 1.5-mile section of Medgar Evers Blvd into a pedestrian and transit-friendly roadway.

Secretary Buttigieg walks with Reena Evers-Everett
Secretary Buttigieg walks with Reena Evers-Everett after a tour of her childhood home

The Secretary concluded his time in the state by traveling with Congressman Thompson to Tougaloo College for a townhall with state and local leaders from Jackson and the surrounding area. Secretary Buttigieg heard about all the ways the President’s Infrastructure Law is driving growth and creating opportunities across Mississippi.

Secretary Buttigieg listens to Congressman Thompson speak at Tougaloo College
Secretary Buttigieg listens to Congressman Thompson speak at Tougaloo College

See below to see what they’re saying about the Secretary’s visit to the Magnolia State:

Clarion Ledger: US Sec. of Transportation visits MS to highlight Medgar Evers Blvd. project investment

Everette, who is Evers’ daughter, thanked both Buttigieg and Thompson for their work in Washington D.C. and in Congress to secure the necessary funds for the project.

“(It’s about) raising the bar of excellence for the community, to have pride in the infrastructure that starts from the very core that goes on to beautification that goes on to the best pride in the world for the communities,” Everette said. “I just wanted to say thank you very much.”

Video: WAPT Channel 16: U.S. Transportation Secretary talks Mississippi infrastructure in 16 WAPT studio

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, alongside U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson, is in Mississippi to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s investment in the state.

With this funding, the administration works to lower costs, improve supply chains for communities in rural America, and invest in critical infrastructure.

Delta News: Rosedale Bolivar County Port receives 8.7 million infrastructure grant

U.S. transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg says the purpose of the infrastructure package was to meet the needs of rural areas.

Pete Buttigieg- “Whether we are talking about the fertilizer that the growers count on or the product they’re exporting all of those cycles through this port and expanding the capacity and the reliability of this port is an investment in the prosperity of the rural part of America.”

With the infrastructure grant, the plans are to help repair and relocate the outdated conveyor systems that help goods get on and off of ships, and replace critical cargo handling equipment, which will help both businesses and consumers across the Mississippi delta region with shorter wait times and lower prices.

Mississippi Today: Pete Buttigieg and Bennie Thompson unveil $20 million investment in Jackson roadway

The new roadway will reconnect the street with other parts of Jackson, along with several improvements. It will have more sidewalks and street lights, better sewer lines, and make travel in the area easier and safer. Officials were unable to provide an estimate for when the project would be complete. 

“Good transportation can lead directly to economic opportunity. In the same way that lack of transportation can cut people off from opportunity,” Buttigieg told Mississippi Today. “We’re here to make sure that transportation connects. That it doesn’t divide.”

Associated Press:  Buttigieg tours Mississippi civil rights site and says transportation is key to equity in the US

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who toured sites in his Mississippi district with Buttigieg, said the majority-Black city of Jackson has been “left out of so many funding opportunities” for years, while money to expand roads has gone to more affluent suburbs. He called the $20 million a “down payment” toward future funding.

“This down payment will fix some of the problems associated with years of neglect — potholes, businesses that have closed because there’s no traffic,” Thompson said.

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Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/icymi-us-transportation-secretary-pete-buttigieg-visits-mississippi-tour

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