Transportation official apologizes for Mississippi mistake

Transportation officials across the country are going to have to be a little more careful in the future when referring to the condition of Mississippi’s roadways.

Washington state Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald learned that the hard way when he declared “We are the Mississippi of roads,” after telling state transportation commissioners Washington will soon rank 49th in the nation for capital spending on highways.

McDonald soon learned the Mississippi Legislature recently approved an $8.7 billion transportation plan. The 20-year program will use state and federal money to widen highways.

“When Mississippi can fund transportation, perhaps there’s hope for all of us,” MacDonald told the Associated Press. “But for now, I guess maybe I should have said, ‘We are the Bosnia of roads.’ Except that would probably just get me in trouble, too.”

MacDonald sent a letter apologizing for his statement to the Mississippi Department of Transportation last week. He also gave the department a basket of goodies, including smoked salmon and candy.