HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Drivers will soon have an easier time crossing an intersection that many people in the area call dangerous and the scene of too many accidents. MDOT officials said a signal light will be going up at the intersection of Highway 67 and Lickskillet Road. The state awarded a $155,000 contract to Powell Construction out of Vancleave.
Seventeen-year-old Chasity Griffin of Vancleave died at in a car accident there in February of 2010. Officials say she was a passenger in a pick up truck when the driver ran a stop sign and was broadsided by another vehicle. Witnesses say the truck Griffin was in went airborne after it was struck.
Drivers said part of the problem is there is so much traffic movement to watch out for. There are drivers on Lickskillet wanting to go straight across four lanes of the heavily-traveled Highway 67. There are drivers who want to cross two lanes of Highway 67 then merge into 67 traffic. Not to mention drivers on Highway 67 looking to make a left turn on Lickskillet. Often this is all going on at the same time.
"It's very difficult going through the intersection. I worry all the time because I have a son who's 18 who is constantly driving down that road," said Jana Hardy, Harrison County resident. "It is hard to get in and out. All the time you see people speeding and people crossing when they shouldn't be. It's bad."
Motorists said many times the wait to turn is long and often their fellow drivers get impatient. So they're glad the new signal light is coming.
Harrison County Resident Vicky Mason said, "If you value human life, that's what needs to be done. You need to put a red light there."
"I think it will help out. I think it will be a safer intersection for sure if there's a light there," said Harrison County resident Brian Rouse. " People may not like it coming because it's a north/south corridor. It's going to be another stop, but it will be safer."
Biloxi passed a resolution last year asking MDOT to put up a signal light because the city was concerned about the large number of serious accidents in the last two years.
"We appreciate MDOT moving forward with this work," said Biloxi Spokesperson Vincent Creel. "This traffic signal will certainly make this intersection safer. Motorists play a role, too. We ask that they drive defensively."
MDOT officials say they're not sure when the construction on the new light will start because parts such as poles have to be ordered. That usually takes up to 10 weeks.