Road improvements on the way to help Ocean Springs Middle School

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs Middle School's Principal Jerry Twigs said during school hours, the Old Spanish Trail and Hanshaw Intersection next to the school is incredibly busy with cars and kids.
"Imagine 300 or 400 cars coming in, walkers and bikers coming in on the current road," Twigs said.
Jackson County Supervisor John McKay represents the area and said a block away on Beach View, the road is also congested.
"Traffic just gets back up in all directions," McKay said.
There are stops signs at each intersection, but the men said the school traffic can still be unsafe.
"Luckily, no kids have been hit. There have been fender benders," McKay said.

McKay said the county is spending more than $540,000 on the new project that will hopefully ease the traffic problems. Work crews will install two traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals at both busy intersections.

"They will have crosswalks like you would have in major cities, where you have the hand up in front of it. It times down and lets the students know exactly how much time they have to cross the intersection."
The plan is to also widen the roads, and add an extra turning lane near Beach View. McKay points out that this is a two phase project.
"The second phase of this is I am working with MDOT through the Safe Routes to School Program, and we hope to build sidewalks."
Principal Twigs said he applauds the county for helping make the kids' walk and ride to school safer.

McKay said county leaders will meet with MDOT next month to finalize the plans. He also said road improvements should be complete next school year.

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