Crash study targets two Harrison County intersections

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -  Beatline Road in Harrison County has become a popular link between Highway 90 and I-10.

"There's a lot of traffic volume during the peak hours," said John Rainwater, a traffic engineer for ABMB in Jackson.

The company was hired by the Gulf Regional Planning Commission to conduct a traffic count and crash history on two busy intersections on Beatline.

"Yes, they are among the more dangerous intersections in the county," said David Taylor, Planning Director for GRPC.

Based on the study, the intersection at Beatline and 28th Street has more than 12,000 cars a day.  And over the past four years, there have been ten accidents there.

"Most likely it's due to the congestion at this intersection in particular," Rainwater said. "The volumes have grown over time and you reach a certain point where the traffic control that exists is ineffective."

Other concerns in the area include speeding and the tight turns drivers are forced to make.

"We'll do what we can do in terms of trying to improve the intersection with signalization, and turning radius improvements, and maybe some signage," said Taylor.

About a mile north on Beatline is another heavily-traveled intersection at Red Creek Road. The study found that more than 9,000 vehicles go through there daily and there have been nine accidents over the past 18 months.

"It's sort of a hill coming up to the intersection," said Rainwater.  "The issue of speed has definitely been raised at that intersection.  There's the train crossing to the north of the intersection."

The agency is still compiling a list of problems and possible solutions. The goal of the study is to improve traffic flow and safety for drivers and pedestrians.

"And it also create places that people want to be and feel safe, and it's also good for the economy," said Taylor.

Residents have presented their own list of problems that need addressing. Some want to see drainage improvements.  Others want to add turn lanes, warning signals, rumble strips, sidewalks, and pedestrian and bicycle crossings.

Another public meeting is planned for next month. The consultant will come up with recommendations to improve the intersections, along with cost estimates. The final report should be finished by September 30th. It's up to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors to decide what course of action to take.

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