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Willie Simmons named chair of Mississippi Transportation Commission

Central District Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons has been selected as chairman of the Mississippi Transportation Commission (MTC).

Simmons, who won his reelection bid in 2023, is entering his second term as the commissioner of central Mississippi, which covers 22 counties and a population of approximately one million people.

Joining Simmons on the MTC are John Caldwell, a second-term commissioner from Mississippi’s northern district, and first-term commissioner Charles Busby from the southern district.

“It is such an honor to be elected chairman of the Mississippi Transportation Commission at this pivotal time in our state’s transportation history,” Simmons said. “I look forward to ensuring this commission continues to move our infrastructure system in the right direction while meeting the needs of public safety and fostering economic growth in all areas of our great state.”

During his first term as commissioner, Simmons worked to have several projects completed, including the $253 million, 7.5-mile reconstruction of U.S. 49 from Florence to Richland as well as the $42.3 million I-20 eastbound bridge replacement project that spans U.S. 51, I-55 south and the Canadian National Railroad in Jackson.

Last year, in the eastern part of Simmons’ district, crews completed a $24.4 million design-build project on I-59 and I-20 in Meridian that widened heavily traveled interstate bridges over State Route 19/39 and 65th Avenue.

In the Mississippi Delta, progress continues on a $137 million project known as the U.S. 82 Greenville Bypass, which is expected to promote regional development and make area roads safer once complete in 2025.

“Commissioner Willie Simmons was the right choice for Commission chairman by virtue of his proven track record of leadership along with his deep understanding of our state’s transportation needs,” MDOT Executive Director Brad White said. “I am confident with his leadership the Commission will support MDOT staff in continuing to drive innovation, enhance our state’s infrastructure, and ensure a safer and more efficient future for Mississippi communities.”

Before being elected commissioner in 2020, Simmons served as a Mississippi state senator for more than 26 years. He served as chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee during his last eight

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