Road to lieutenant governor's subdivision stalls

FLOWOOD, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation is putting the brakes on a plan to build a $2 million access road to a gated subdivision where Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves lives.

Transportation commissioners say they made the decision during conversations Tuesday. It happened after the Clarion Ledger reported that department Executive Director Melinda McGrath said there was political pressure to build the road in the Jackson suburb of Flowood.

McGrath wouldn't say who was pressuring her other than to say "the Senate side." Republican Reeves leads the state Senate.

Records show Reeves' staff and neighborhood property owners communicated with the department about the road.

Later Tuesday, Reeves made public a letter that he sent to McGrath, asking the MDOT executive director to assist him in identifying any inappropriate actions of legislators or legislative staff regarding construction of a frontage road along Highway 25.

“If you had any unacceptable interactions with anyone in the Legislature on this or any other project that go outside the bounds of the body’s duty to be engaged in monitoring the department and holding it accountable, I need to know about it so I can investigate and take corrective steps if warranted,” Reeves wrote.

A copy of the letter is attached.

Commissioner Dick Hall says he and his colleagues will evaluate the need for the road. Commissioner Tom King says there is no safety reason to support building it.

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