GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - MDOT will unveil a plan to widen the east end of Dedeaux Road on Thursday afternoon. Gulfport councilman R. Lee Flowers expects that presentation to be step one of a process that eventually gives Dedeaux Road businesses an opportunity to grow.
From what Councilman Flowers has been told, Gulfport will need $20 million to design two additional lanes, purchase right of ways, and hire a contractor to finally widen Dedeaux Road.
Jillian Maxey works at the Animal Hospital of Orange Grove. She deals with the "heavy traffic" all the time, and doesn't really like it.
Her colleague, Amanda McCray, called Dedeaux Road, "Crazy."
Deborah Southers said she disliked the east/west road because "it's impossible to make a left hand turn." Southers should know. Not only does she work at the animal hospital, she lives in a subdivision on Dedeaux.
Gulfport leaders actually had previous discussions about widening Dedeaux Road, and ending the misery for motorists. But like so many other projects in the city, the 2005 hurricane put the brakes on those thoughts.
New Gulfport councilman R. Lee Flowers has helped initiate a plan to restart the Dedeaux Road widening talks. He's already worked with MDOT about the concept. And he's helped secure almost $2 million for engineer work. Now, Flowers is trying to make sure the rest of the city council is on board with the Dedeaux Road plan.
"Dedeaux Road has been a long time coming," he said. "We need to open that up, not only for business, but for the people, the numerous people who live along that road, to make it a lot safer for them."
Flowers considers the widening project an opportunity to make the three mile stretch of Dedeaux, from new Highway 605 to Three Rivers Road, an economic engine for the city.
"It will add a business corridor that we do not have," said Flowers.
If it just adds two lanes, and reduces the daily traffic headaches that staff members at the Animal Hospital of Orange Grove always face, they'll be thrilled, because the current traffic situation is rather annoying.
"You can sit here for five minutes waiting in the parking lot before you actually have a chance to get out," said Maxey.
The Gulfport City Council holds a special meeting Thursday at 4:00 to hear a presentation about the Dedeaux Road widening project. That meeting is at city hall.