• $52.4M federal grant will pay for northeast Mississippi road

    FULTON, Miss. (AP) - The federal government is giving $52.4 million to build a highway in Mississippi's northeast corner.

    Federal and state officials said Tuesday that the money will be matched by $43.6 million in state and other federal funds. The Mississippi Department of Transportation will construct an 8.3-mile (13.4-kilometer) four-lane highway in Itawamba County.

    The extension of Mississippi 76 will connect with Mississippi 25 north of Fulton, completing a four-lane corridor between Batesville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    Officials say the road will carry freight between the Blue Springs Toyota plant and a Mazda-Toyota plant being built in Huntsville, Alabama.

    Traffic currently uses a 13-mile (21-kilometer) stretch of two-lane road in Itawamba County.

    The road was to be built beginning in 2011, but was postponed for lack of money.

    Officials will seek bids next spring.

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