Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker announced today that the city has received a $1.4 million grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for the initial phase of a Gordon’s Creek Commons development project.
The project will capitalize on a vacant lot along the west side of Gordon’s Creek in Downtown Hattiesburg. Planned features include a pedestrian bridge across the creek, lighted paths, public seating with shade structures, a stage, splash pad, food truck park and space for shipping container-style retail or restaurant options.
The first phase will include construction of the bridge and foundational structures.
“Many individuals have pointed to Gordon’s Creek as a missed opportunity,” said Barker. “Most Hattiesburgers know the creek as a drainage ditch that directs a large portion of the city’s storm water and delivers it out to the river, however, . . . the vision was put forward by people ahead of their time, and their thinking has been slowly taking shape.”
Over the last decade, three other projects along the creek added pedestrian paths at Jaycee Park, Town Square Park, and Hawkins Elementary.
Ward 4 Councilwoman Mary Dryden said, “Each section that’s connected connects us in a new way. . . . This is an outdoor area, and we all know with what we’ve been through in 2020 with Covid that we need outdoor spaces. I am extremely grateful for all the people that have been behind this and just thrilled we are adding another section.”
The MDOT funding for the new section is part of a $7 million allocation of federal monies announced earlier this month. It is one of 11 planned projects across south Mississippi.
“Things of this nature would not happen without the vision of a leader, and Mayor Barker is a visionary for the City of Hattiesburg,” said Tom King, Transportation Commissioner of the Southern District.
Hattiesburg will also provide over $350,000 in matching funds.