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The Mississippi Transportation Commission recently approved the Mississippi Department of Transportation's (MDOT) award of grants for port improvement and maintenance projects, including the extension of two existing rail spurs.The grants will support projects that are necessary to support local economic growth and development, said commissioners Dick Hall, Tom King and Mike Tagert in a joint statement."Mississippi's ports and waterways system helps move local goods and services to the rest of the country, and even internationally," they said.The Yellow Creek Port Authority in Iuka received $612,832 to extend an existing rail spur at the Northeast Mississippi Waterway Industrial Park. Additionally, the Lowndes County Port in Columbus received $504,296 to extend and upgrade an existing rail spur along the East Bank.Other grants included $950,000 to the Port of Pascagoula to repair the dock at Terminal 1-A; $552,000 to Natchez-Adams County Port to replace the north wing warehouse roof; $511,335 to Port Bienville, Bay St. Louis, to construct two heavy lift areas on the existing main dock structure; $396,331 to Port of Greenville to upgrade and rehab the dock structure; and $273,206 to Port of Rosedale to clear and prep port property for port expansion.MDOT's responsibilities include providing a safe intermodal transportation network for ports, waterways, railroads, public transit systems and airports, state officials said in a press release.