• 52°

Lafayette County secures $2 million in state funds to complete West Oxford Loop Extension project

The West Oxford Loop Extension project, which will provide access from West Oxford to North Oxford, will be completed in two years thanks to the aid of state funding.

The Mississippi State Legislature announced on Tuesday it is providing $2 million in state bond funding to go towards the completion of the West Oxford Loop extension. The extension will connect College Hill Road to Industrial Park Road, which connects to Highway 7 North.

The West Oxford Loop project is a joint endeavor with the City of Oxford, Lafayette County and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to help improve interconnectivity in the area.

Local leaders worked with Senator Nicole Boyd, Representatives Trey Lamar, Clay Deweese and Steve Massengill, along with Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. The approved funding is subject to Governor Tate Reeves signing the State bond bill.

Phase one of the project, which connected Anderson Road to College Hill Road near mTrade Park, was completed in August 2019.

“This final leg of the West Oxford Loop extension fulfills a goal that local leaders in Oxford and Lafayette County have been pursuing for many years,” Lafayette County Board of Supervisors president Mike Roberts said in a statement. “The complete north-west connection means so much to the daily life of anyone who lives around College Hill, Old Sardis Road or near the Lafayette County Industrial Park — but also to anyone who encounters congestion on West Jackson Avenue. We are grateful for the state’s help in bringing this vision to reality.”

Phase two of the project is expected to cost $6 million, with state funding helping to lessen the financial burden of Lafayette County. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2023.

Along with the West Oxford Loop Extension, both the City of Oxford and Lafayette County have agreed to each match funds up to $1 million to go toward the improvement of the Highway 7 and University Avenue interchange. The remainder of the construction cost will funded by MDOT.

“Renovating this intersection will improve the safety for our citizens driving through East Oxford, making the intersection less confusing and create a better flow of traffic,” Roberts said.

Last September, Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill announced $4 million was awarded to the city to go toward the Highway 7-University Avenue project. In 2018, the City of Oxford asked the Mississippi Legislators for help with funding the project as was awarded $750,000, which is the same year Tannehill estimated the project would cost around $9 million to complete.