Officials celebrate opening of Hail State Boulevard at MSU

Officials celebrated the opening of Hail State Boulevard with a ribbon cutting Friday [Sept. 1]. Pictured, from left to right, are Oktibbeha County District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, Eutaw Construction founder and former president Thomas S. Elmore and Jean Elmore, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, Oktibbeha County District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller, Oktibbeha County District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard, MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean George Hopper and Oktibbeha County District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer.  (Photo by Megan Bean)

MSU President Mark E. Keenum takes the first official drive down Hail State Boulevard, the new 3.5-mile road that connects Blackjack Road to Poorhouse Road, enhancing access to the south end of MSU’s campus and improving traffic flow. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University is more accessible to visitors coming from the south now that Hail State Boulevard, the university’s new south entrance road, is officially open.

MSU, Mississippi Department of Transportation and local officials celebrated the new 3.5-mile road with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday [Sept. 1]. The new road will increase accessibility to the southern end of campus and improve traffic flow.

“This road is a nice new addition that opens up this whole corridor of the campus,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “It’s not just important to the university and our future growth, but for the whole community, Starkville and Oktibbeha County. I’m thrilled about this project.”

“At MDOT, we were glad to help and be part of the team,” Mississippi Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said. “With the university growing, having this kind of infrastructure in place is a necessity.”

Hail State Boulevard will allow campus visitors arriving from Highway 25 to take a more direct route to MSU. Bypassing MSU’s South Farm, Hail State Boulevard connects Poorhouse Road near the Mississippi Horse Park to Stone Boulevard and Blackjack Road.

“This is a lovely drive and will be a great entrance to the campus,” Mississippi Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said. “For people coming to MSU from the Jackson area that I represent, this will be a major help. This is a good partnership and I’m really proud of this road.”

“This is going to provide a wonderful venue for everyone coming to campus,” MSU Vice President for Campus Services Amy Tuck said. “We’re very excited about it, especially with our first football game coming up Saturday. This road will be very helpful as we work to improve traffic flow on gamedays.”

MSU and MDOT worked together to build the $18 million road, with federal funds administered by MDOT paying for 80 percent of the road and MSU paying for the remaining 20 percent. Eutaw Construction was the contractor for the project.

“This road takes pressure off smaller roads in the county,” Oktibbeha County District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller said. “Oktibbeha County continues to work with Mississippi State on projects. We did some work on Poorhouse Road to improve that new intersection. This is a win for everybody. It’s a very exciting day to have this nice new road.”

Motorists using the new road are encouraged to use caution and obey all posted speed limits and signage. Hail State Boulevard is part of MSU’s updated football gameday postgame traffic plans. For additional information on new gameday pedestrian safety measures and traffic improvements, visit

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