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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  • by cindy Location: Maysville on Dec 30, 2009 at 04:56 PM
    I believe if the road bypasses Belgrade and Maysville it will destroy both towns. If the road goes threw them they will grow. Any homes and businesses that are effected will be paid for and have the opportunity to rebuild bigger and better. I think the new road will be the best thing that could possibly happen.
  • by Rick Location: Washington on Dec 1, 2009 at 08:51 PM
    Why not use the nearby equipment used on the Rt. 17 bypass in Washington? That construction appeared to have a minimum impact on the wetlands it crossed, and I believe the project is ahead of schedule. By the time everyone's done feeding lawyers on this issue, the job would have been done and paid for. Something seems fishy here and not in the wetlands.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Dec 1, 2009 at 05:06 PM
    It's all about growth. It makes sense to widen the road through Belgrade. It would make the area a lot better and less dangerous. It's just a road. You will still have your town.

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