Starkville was awarded the largest grant the city has ever received Wednesday to improve the Highway 182 corridor.

Mayor Lynn Spruill said the $12.6 million grant will add much needed amenities to the area.

“It will put all of the overhead utilities underground, add pedestrian sidewalks and enhance property values,” Spruill said. “The order of magnitude should be transformative for that area.”

The grant will come from federal funds as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant program. BUILD grants have given out $7.1 billion in federal dollars since 2009, according to the DOT’s website.

Acquiring the funds, Spruill said, was the result of a huge collaborative effort from legislatures, city and county officials, community members and other entities.

“It’s everyone pulling together, sending letters of support and working to make this happen,” Spruill said.

The total cost for the project will be roughly $16 million, less than the $18 million the city had initially applied for. Spruill said the budget was pulled back after officials were made aware the DOT would not award the full requested $14 million in grant money.

Along with the federal funds, Starkville will put in approximately $3.5 million for the project, which will affect the portion of Highway 182 between Old West Point Road and North Long Street.

Spruill said the area had been hurt by the boom of business on Highway 12, and she hoped the infrastructure improvements made possible by this grant would return it to its former glory.

“When I was growing up in Starkville, that was the place to be,” Spruill said. “That was where things happened.”

No timeline has been established for the project yet.

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