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TUPELO, Miss. (Press Release) — In 2005, the Downtown Main Street Association (DTMSA) began dreaming of better ways to connect Downtown to other parts of Tupelo, including a major overhaul for the Downtown section of Main Street. That dream is about to come to life in the form of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail project. “It has taken years of planning and partnerships between the Downtown Main Street Association, the City of Tupelo and the Community Development Foundation to make new opportunities in Downtown possible,” said Debbie Brangenberg, DTMSA Director.

In 2010 the City of Tupelo was awarded a Transportation Enhancement grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Those funds, in accord with funding from the Tupelo Major Thoroughfare Program for the improvement of East Main Street, will create a new thoroughfare like no other in Tupelo.

With hopes to augment regional tourism and economy, the plans propose a connection between Tupelo’s Downtown heritage and its cultural roots at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum and Park. The three entities involved hope the project will improve the safety and livability of the Downtown Main Street corridor, as well as enhance the Elvis Presley Birthplace and East Main Street by strengthening its connection to Downtown.

“We believe this going to greatly enhance the tourism experience in Tupelo by connecting Downtown Tupelo to the Birthplace for pedestrians as well as, improve the quality of life for the citizens of Tupelo by increasing recreational space for runners and bikers,” said Mayor Jason Shelton. “I am thrilled with this project and see it as a great progressive step forward for our city. I appreciate the hard work of all those involved in making this vision a reality.”

The partnership is pleased to announce that the Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail project has been authorized by the Federal Highway Administration and the Mississippi Department of Transportation to advertise for bid submissions. The project will include construction of overlay, roadway and bridge widening, curb, sidewalk, striping and traffic signalization from Green Street in downtown Tupelo along East Main Street, Veterans Boulevard, and Reese Street. The City of Tupelo will receive bids at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 29, 2014 at City of Tupelo, Mississippi at City Hall, 71 East Troy Street, 2nd Floor Finance Department, Attn: Missy Shelton.

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