The Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club opposes the highway department’s proposed alternative C four-laning of highway 15 on several grounds.Though a four-lane evacuation route out of Biloxi is inevitable, we cannot support a new “real estate road” cutting across the massive flood plain at the Harrison-Jackson County line. The massive disruption and damage to wetlands will require expensive and extensive bridge building unnecessary with the hwy 15 (alternative A) route. Wetland destruction and disruption will be significantly less if highway 15 is widened in its present location.The proposed real estate road (Alternative C) will cut a new path through farmsteads and homes as well as many acres of wetlands and bottomlands in order for highway 15 to tie into highway 57, also slated for four-laning. Sierra Club objects to the absurdity of evacuating Biloxi by sending evacuees into a collision with evacuees from Gautier and Ocean Springs needing to use highway 57. On a daily basis there is little chance of traffic jams in these rural areas, but just when the road is needed most, we will be looking at a parking lot instead of a reliable corridor out of town when a hurricane threatens. Wayne Brown, who admits to probably profiting from the Alternative C corridor in newspaper articles, no longer calls this four-laning project a hurricane evacuation project. He calls it an economic development project. Even he admits that it will not serve the purpose for which federal funds were provided.Choose Alternative A and complete a sensible hurricane evacuation route without unnecessary threats to the environment.Steve Shepard, Coast Group ChairSierra Club of MississippiClick here for MDOT public hearings schedule: http://www.stepscoalition.org/news/article/mdot_schedules_public_hearings

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