New road to decrease downtown traffic

A new road connecting Blackjack Road and Poor House Road is expected to be open by football season. The new south entrance road to campus is expected to decrease traffic in Starkville on gamedays. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi State University are teaming up to complete a new road that will funnel traffic directly from campus toward Highway 25.

The road will connect Blackjack Road and Poor House Road, running along MSU's South Farm research property, which hosts much of MSU's livestock fields. The new addition is expected to decrease traffic flow on Highway 12.

"That will be completed by football season," said University Architect Tim Muzzi. "At the end of a football game, it will take traffic southward and disperse it, without going through the middle of Starkville."

This project, Muzzi said, has an $18 million price tag, of which MDOT is paying 80 percent and MSU is paying 20 percent.

The new south entrance road will run parallel to Oktoc Road. It will begin where Stone Boulevard intersects Blackjack Road, and will run along the east side of South Farm, ending at Poor House Road, beside where the Mississippi Horse Park is located.

Muzzi said he has driven along the route and the road is laid out, with the paving process scheduled to begin soon.

"The three and a half miles is a pretty drive," Muzzi said. "There are cows and fields. It's going to be nice for campus."