In an attempt to revitalize what travelers see as they drive into downtown, the Meridian City Council has now approved the activation of the 22nd Avenue Enhancement Project.
“The goal is to really update that. To update it to modern standards in how people move and travel and also give it some pizazz, so-to-speak. We want to let it be a true signature as an entrance into our gateway,” said Public Works Director Hugh Smith.
With 22nd Avenue leading travelers into downtown directly off Interstate-20, this project is funded through a tap grant provided by the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
“We were awarded some special appropriations money from the state legislature back last summer. Our goal is to use those dollars as part of the match or all the match on this project. Which really means there’s no budgetary monies being allocated to this project. It’s all been funded via either federal or state tax dollars,” said Smith.
With current projects such as the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Smith said this revitalization will work hand-in-hand with any on-going and future projects.
“So, you take those site plans, review them, and make sure you’re providing proper access for vehicular movement and even pedestrian cross ways in your overall plan for 22nd Avenue.”
This project, however, isn’t just about appearances.
“Commercial projects push a strong tax base. When you’re looking at outside dollars coming in from a standpoint of external revenue coming into your city, one of the ways to do that is with commercial projects,” said Smith.