JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House has voted to borrow $25 million to construct four-lane highways near Blue Springs, where Toyota is building a massive $1.3 billion automobile manufacturing plant.
The bill was part of a package passed Tuesday that would authorize the issuance of $200 million in bonds for priority highway projects, many of which are in Northeast Mississippi, and to replace or refurbish about 100 deficient bridges on state highways.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed taking $25 million out of a fund set up to pay the state's share of federal funds dedicated to the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. Barbour said the funds are available because the federal government is lowering the required state match.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Warner McBride, D-Courtland, said many Gulf Coast legislators have opposed using recovery funds on highways in Northeast Mississippi.
Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said earlier the governor would reserve comment on the legislation until he had time to study it. Early in the session, Barbour said he would oppose all bonds issues not tied to economic development.