Ocean Springs road reopens to traffic after months of repairs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Good news for those who travel Ocean Springs Road. Jackson County officials have now repaired and reopened the road after months of delays. The folks in Jackson County said the improvements are long overdue.

"Our fire trucks, police cars, and every emergency vehicle that you can think of was impacted by the road closing," Ocean Springs Public Works Director Andre' Kaufman said.

Ocean Springs resident Mike Barnett said the road repairs were critical.

"My wife was just rear ended just down the road right there," Barnett said.

Fixing drainage in the area was also a must.

"It became most evident in Hurricane Georges in 1998 when the water upstream topped this road. The drainage culverts under the road were sized too small for the amount of water," Kaufman said.

"There were some drainage issues that expanded on people's property," Barnett said.

Jackson County officials spent more than $300,000 on repairs, which included building large concrete tunnels.

"You can imagine if we have another Isaac, Katrina or something like that the water is going to five times this much. So, with the new box culverts, it should get the water out and stop future flooding."

The heavily traveled road is also wider.

"As you can see we have shoulders built up, so hopefully in a short period of time we will be able to come in and put some turn-bays. We are working with Gulf Regional Planning to hopefully one day to three lane the road way out to Highway 57 from Highway 90 because this area is beginning to develop," McKay said.

While a portion of the thoroughfare still needs some final touches.

"It is not striped yet, that will take place next week," said Kaufman.

Folks here are happy the road finally got the facelift it needed.

"We hope everybody not only enjoys the ability to come through here, but let's be safe," Kaufman said.

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