Two O.S. intersections will soon be safer

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Two dangerous intersections on Government Street in Ocean Springs will soon be safer. Traffic lights will be installed at Hanley and Ocean Springs Roads later this year.

Computer models show just what happens at the intersection of Hanley and Government, especially after school.  Further east on Government is the Ocean Springs Road intersection.  It's even worse at the height of rush hour.

In real life, drivers know all too well the challenges they face trying to turn onto Government.

"It's needed," said Enid Riley. "It's really needed, it's congested here all the time."

Eric Meyer is the community development director for the city, and worked on the project.  The relief the traffic lights will bring to these two areas is real.

"It's going to improve a lot of people's quality of life. Coming home from work, they get stuck there," Meyer said.  "Some folks are probably trying to jackrabbit across the intersection to get home on time, so this is going to help a lot of folks."

Jerry Hillyard works in an office at the base of Ocean Springs Road.  He couldn't agree more.

"I think it's a great idea.  There's been several near miss accidents and a few accidents right here at this location," Hillyard said.  "It's very hard to get in and out of this present location. People turning left on Government Street don't see the oncoming traffic coming around the curve."

There's also an added benefit to these two traffic light projects on Government Street. Public safety vehicles responding to emergencies won't get backed up in traffic anymore.

"These two systems will have Opticom system which allows them to press the button and change the lights, so our public safety officers should be able to get through these intersections faster," Meyer explained.

The project will begin this fall, and will take about six months to complete.  The cost is $750,000 and is being funded with federal highway money. In addition, the railroad crossing guards at both intersections will also be upgraded.

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