January 27, 2011 10:12:00 AM
The election of the Transportation Commissioner of the Northern District on Tuesday, Feb. 1 is most important to the future economic growth of Mississippi, including new high-paying jobs in the State.
International trade for the eastern Gulf States, including Mississippi, is predicted to increase by more than three-fold to $450 billion by 2029. Those states that have a modern, efficient multi-modal transportation system will be best positioned to capture this growth.
As a former administrator of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority for more than 20 years, I had opportunities to work with several of the state transportation departments in the South. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is far ahead of the other states in implementing an effective multi-modal program to address the future freight transport needs of the State. In addition to supporting increased trade, this program will also help ensure that existing and future manufacturers as well as agriculture producers in the state can ship their raw materials and goods cheaper and be more competitive for both domestic and foreign markets.
We need to elect someone on Feb. 1, who understands the importance of MDOT''s role in addressing the state''s freight needs while continuing to improve our highways and bridges. I believe that candidate is Mike Tagert. He will work with the other two commissioners, the Legislature, and with local interests so that all the state''s modes of transportation, including water, rail, and air, are developed for the benefit of the general public and for the future growth of the state.