Another major construction project set to start at Sangani - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Another major construction project set to start at Sangani

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D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) -

Get ready for another construction project around the Sangani Boulevard shopping complex.   On Tuesday, D'Iberville city leaders will accept bids to widen that busy road. It's been in the planning stages for more than four years. Now, the city is ready to widen Sangani, starting on or right after January 7.

It is probably the number one complaint among drivers around Sangani Boulevard -- the traffic congestion.

"You're talking about this explosion of retail of both sides of Highway 67, and the amount of traffic that travels in and out of these roadways has really been tough," said Bobby Weaver, Project Manager for Seymour Engineering.

Some area merchants are also feeling the pinch. Stacy Thunelius and her husband, Bob, own Beef O'Brady's Restaurant on Sangani. They were the first to sign a lease when the Sangani shopping center was developed more than nine years ago.

"I think it hurts us to a certain degree, because people say they don't want to come over here because it's so congested. And the traffic is such an issue, to a certain degree, that they'd rather avoid it," said Stacy Thunelius.

The city finally got the green light to move forward with the widening of Sangani. The project has been delayed because of land acquisition, environmental permits, and funding issues. City leaders say the I-110 overpass project also took priority.

Sangani Boulevard will be widened from three to five lanes, stretching from Indian River Road in front of Lowes to Lamey Bridge Road.

"We've had other Beef O'Brady's that have gone out of business when they started road construction in front of the restaurants. Hopefully, this won't happen," said Thunelius.

"We will try to maintain every potential driveway entrance we possibly can. There might be times that a particular retail area has two, or one might be impacted if there's some crossing work that's got to be done to the entrance. But we'll make sure that we always have good ingress and egress for the businesses throughout the duration of the project," said Weaver.

The two traffic signals on Sangani will also be upgraded with cameras and technology to improve traffic flow.  And a third traffic light will go up at a very busy intersection -- the east entrance of Walmart.

"This smarter technology will allow the signal to remain green through the main road and only change to accommodate those vehicles that need that point for making the left turns or right turns," said Weaver. "When all the completed projects are done, it's going to be very easy to travel through here and I know the merchants are going to be extremely pleased, along with the city leaders."

"Once it all gets done, more businesses will want to come out over here, and it'll become a destination of the whole coast," said Thunelius.

The project is expected to cost about $2.4 million. MDOT is paying 80-percent of the construction cost. The city of D'Iberville will pay 20-percent, along with land acquisition, engineering fees, and other costs related to the project.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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