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Highway 9 Opens

Posted by Paulo Salazar | August 16, 2012 / 05:59pm | Local News

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) - A new addition to Pontotoc County has state and local leaders excited about economic growth.

State Route 9 is complete and open for traffic. The new addition provides 4 lanes to keep commerce rolling along. Improving infrastructure was the main goal for state leaders.

Northern District Transportation Commission Mike Tagert, "This four lane is obviously going to be much safer then the infrastructure we've had in the past. Also related to that what it's gong to do for economic development."

The new corridor will well serve the Toyota Manufacturing Facility in Blue Springs. It allows for increased truck traffic. About 10 miles of Highway 9 were rerouted from the interchange at Highway 278 and State Route 6 near Pontotoc to East of the existing State Route 9.

The Highway 9 upgrades will mean big things for economic development in the future but what will it mean for local businesses right here in this area?

Jason Steele with Steele's Endville General Store says, "I don't think anything major is going to happen as far as the down turn in business. It's been open for a couple of weeks now. If you take what we were doing in 2010 versus week two in August of 2012 we're still up 25 to 30%."

Jason Steele has been running the general store for just over seven years now. He says business is good. The influx of highway construction workers was nice. But he feels even as traffic slows his loyal customers will continue to come.

According to Steele, "Well there is always a certain unknown. I'd be lying if I didn't think about it a little bit but business has been wonderful for the last three of four years."

Offering a local feel with some down home cooking has kept Steele's Endville General Store going strong this long and he is expecting business to hold steady for the future.

The Highway was scheduled to be completed by August 16th and opened to motorist July 30th.

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