Highway 17 Widening Causes Controversy

Construction is set to begin on the "funded" portions of Highway 17 Bypass for Jones County in about 5 years.

There are still portions of the highway, that haven't been funded.

People in Belgrade and Maysvillle requested a public hearing at Maysville Elementary School's gym at 6:30 Tuesday night.

Residents are upset that current plans call for widening the two lane highway to four lanes and adding a median.

The DOT's original plan was to continue on a separated highway beside Belgrade but wetlands have forced the highway to track through Belgrade.

Plans have the new highway extending over several businesses and dozens of homes.

Residents in Belgrade agree that something needs to be done, but not at the expense of losing their town.

Officials with the DOT expect to issue the final environmental impact statement of the project next spring, but any litigation could hold all portions of the project up in Jones County.

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