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Construction work continues along Interstate 269 near Hernando, just east of where a planned interchange/exit will connect McIngvale Road Extended to I-269.

Robert Long|DTT

The much-anticipated McIngvale Road Extension from Interstate 269 to Byhalia Road to Green T could begin as early as next summer, said Hernando City Engineer Joe Frank Lauderdale.

At Tuesday's city board meeting, aldermen approved a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with DeSoto County for the $10 million project.

The McIngvale Road Extension is seen as the most important road project this decade and will provide an eastern entrance to the city off I-269/I-69, the nation's newest super highway, which began construction in 2006.

I-269 will stretch from Mexico to Canada.

The leg from Tunica to Hernando to the west and I-269 to Collierville on the east have taken more than a decade to complete. Under terms of the agreement, The City of Hernando will spend $1 million, the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors will spend $1 million and the Mississippi Transportation Commission which oversees the Mississippi Department of Transportation will spend $8 million, for a total of $10 million.

"They are moving on it pretty quickly," Mayor Tom Ferguson said. "I don't know when they will actually start working on it. What we did tonight is to approve the engineering contract with the Pickering Engineering firm."

The new McIngvale Road Extension will traverse just east of the Hernando Hills Elementary School campus and tie into Byhalia and existing McIngvale Road.

At Tuesday's board meeting, the City of Hernando approved $1 million for the project, the funding for which comes out of a $5 million bond issue.

A total of $500,000 has been earmarked for improvements to the city's water system.

Ward 4 Alderman Michael McLendon wanted to ensure the city set the money aside and not spend any money from the amount budgeted to make sure the funding is there for the McIngvale Road Extension project and water system upgrade.

"We want to make sure the allocation for those two projects is there," McLendon said.

Aldermen are still dealing with funding issues, with costs rising for projects on the front burner, such as spending an unbudgeted $10,000 for the repair of the Gale Center roof, a project with a $75,000 price tag.

The Hall Road water construction will cost $90,000 and the waterline project in Nesbit is expected to top $250,000. Hernando annexed Nesbit in 1998.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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