Gulfport council prepares to vote on plans for Dedeaux Road

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport City Council on Tuesday could decide on a $20 million expansion plan for Dedeaux Road. For years now, the city has tried to come up with the best plan to expand the busy roadway. Now, after several workshops with MDOT, the project is moving forward.

"We've known that this road needs to be widened for 40 years and we're just now getting to it," ward six Councilman R. Lee Flowers said.

Flowers is pushing a proposal that will widen the north east section of Dedeaux Road. The road would go from two lanes to five lanes. The plan also includes sidewalks and a bike lane.

"It's a rough draft still," Flowers said.

The councilman said the plan will not only ease congestion, but it will also make Dedeaux a business friendly corridor.

Councilwoman Cara Pucheu agrees.

"Dedeaux Road has become a hazard over the years," Pucheu said. "Sidewalks will be an added benefit to the area and the changes will increase the property value."

However, some homeowners will lose their properties. The proposed plan includes clearing more than 30 homes, and at least one business.

"We tried to go worst case and tell as many people as possible that you could be bought out or you could be heavily impacted in such a way that we would buy the property," Flowers said.

However, not everyone who lives on Dedeaux Road is ready to move.

"What they say they want to do is not what they want to do," Walter Thomas said. "I think the plan is crazy."

People like Walter Thomas agree that the road should be widened, but he doesn't like the current plan.

"They decided to pick the most intrusive plan. Why not widen the other side of Dedeaux? This is not about trying to relieve the traffic problem, it's about a commercial venture," Thomas said. "They want to commercialize Dedeaux Road."

City leaders won't argue that plans for Dedeaux Road will make it a more business friendly corridor. However, the plan is not concrete and there is still room for improvement.

Plans for the Dedeaux Road expansion are on Tuesday's Gulfport City Council agenda. That meeting will be at 2:30pm at Gulfport City Hall.

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