MDOT starts buying property for new I-110 on ramp

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The state has started purchasing the land it needs to build a new on-ramp for I-110 in D'Iberville and hopefully ease traffic congestion. The new ramp is part of a larger plan to improve traffic flow near the I-110/I-10 interchange. It won't be cheap. Officials say the price tag could get up to $100 million when all the different phases are complete.

Because of the heavy traffic on Sangani Boulevard, some drivers say they plan the timing of their shopping and entertainment very carefully.

Jamie Miller of Gulfport said, "I do not come up here on the weekends unless I absolutely have to because it's bumper to bumper. And it's accidents; it's horrible."

Her daughter, Samantha Miller, agreed.

"Anything to make it flow better 'cause it's terrible. I don't even come here on weekend nights. I avoid it," Samantha said.

MDOT hopes to improve traffic flow around Sangani Boulevard by giving drivers the option of traveling between I-10 and D'Iberville Boulevard and I-10 and Lamey Bridge Road.

MDOT District Engineer Kelly Castleberry said MDOT knows the commercial growth is creating congestion problems. He said the state hopes improving access will also improve safety.

Often D'Iberville firefighters respond to those accidents.

Fire Chief Gerald Smith said, "D'Ibervillle is steadily growing. With that growth, of course, you're going to have more vehicles and more accidents. So any kinds of improvements to be made, it's a plus."

Firefighters will have to make a sacrifice for the traffic improvements. A planned I-110 on-ramp at Big Ridge Road goes right through the fire station. The station has to relocate, but the city hasn't decided where.

"We don't want to get too far from one part of the city," said Chief Smith. "We've got to stay in an area where we can maintain our current rating with the city. If we get too far out of any certain area, it could affect it."

MDOT also plans to create better access from 1-10 to I-110 south to accommodate military and casino traffic. Don't expect to see that work or the new Big Ridge on ramp to start for about two years as MDOT still needs to secure rights of way and move utilities.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.