When it comes to transportation, state officials say east Mississippi is being set up for success.
"I think when the economy turns, east central Mississippi is going to be the next location for a prospective major industry," said Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall.
Hall said his thoughts about developments for east Mississippi are largely based on upgrades that are now being done to local roads.
"Meridian and east central Mississippi are getting the transportation in place to be successful," Hall said.
One area where this is happening is the 4-lane project for Highway 19, which connects Meridian and Philadelphia. Currently, only the third phase of that project is left to do.
"We're scrambling around trying to find money to do it. It's planned; it's designed," Hall said. "We've got the right-of way; we're ready to go. We're just going to have to scrape up the money to complete that."
Hall says there are also big plans for Highway 493 which passes the $2.8 billion lignite coal plant that's currently under construction in Kemper County.
"We're going to upgrade it, widen it, make it a much better highway," he said.
Hall says actual work to widen and improve Highway 493 overall will start after the plant officially opens. That's set to happen in May 2014.
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