Downtown streets temporarily closed for MAEEX work

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Traffic in downtown Meridian was briefly interrupted Monday to allow for work on the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience. It's located at the busy intersection of Front Street and 22nd Avenue.

President and CEO Mark Tullos said that's expected to happen every now and then.

“Sometimes these things slip up on us. What they are doing is raising the polishers, the cement finishers, up to the second floor. They have poured the second floor and now they have to polish it and get it ready. They have to lift that equipment up and take it down. Unfortunately on Front Street is the only place we can do that," said Tullos.

Much of the frame work has been completed. Tullos said he expects the roofing and siding will be installed by the end of next month.

Meridian City Councilman Dr. George Thomas said he is pleased to see progress and hopes the city will see a return on its investment.

"It is not a Meridian project. It is a state of Mississippi project. Of course we hope to gain a lot from that. Tourists will be coming to the City of Meridian, which is a big thing for us. The problem that presents is traffic flow, parking and access to facilities, restaurants and housing. We are putting up a lot of hotels and motels. Restaurants seem to be expanding in the area," said Thomas.

State Rep. Charles Young, Jr., of District 82, said elected officials across the state view this development as an all-inclusive project.

"The state has contributed in excess of $25 million to the overall cost of the project. We passed some additional language so that this property would be incorporated into the state and that the state would be assuming some of the maintenance and upkeep for the property," said Young.

Leaders with the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience will reveal the 17 inductees into the Hall of Fame at the state capitol Thursday. The governor and lieutenant governor will attend the unveiling.