It will help relieve traffic congestion on I-10, serve as a hurricane evacuation route and become a popular shortcut between Saucier and Biloxi. Construction work on the new Highway 67 is on time and within budget.
The roughly 60 million dollar project is starting to take shape. It will provide a direct link between Highway 49 in Saucier and I-10 near D'Iberville. Along with meeting a transportation need, the new 67 will also attract development.
There's some serious dirt moving underway on a new four lane highway that cuts across much of Harrison County. The new Highway 67 is just a chip shot away from the fairways of Dogwood Hills Golf Course.
Regulars at the course have little problem with the detour near the entrance. The inconvenience is temporary. The new road should bring better visibility and more golfers.
"I believe we'll get more customers 'cause there's going to be more people out here. Easier access to our golf course from both sides north and south. So we think it's going to be really good for our golf course," said Brad Ball, who works in the pro shop.
The new highway prompted plans for a massive residential community. "Tradition" will be built on some 46 hundred acres adjacent to the new roadway. Once finished, the project could include some 15 thousand residents.
"Development follows infrastructure. Period. The end. And the infrastructure is finally coming together out here. So, the "Traditions" project, our phase one, is absolutely moving forward," said Brynn Joachim, a spokesperson for the developer.
The overpass where Lorraine Cowan will connect with the new 67 is the mid point of the roughly 20 mile project. To the north, it's a ten mile stretch of highway that connects with Highway 49 in Saucier. Looking south, it's ten miles of new highway that will link up with Interstate 10 in D'Iberville.
Transportation commissioner, Wayne Brown, says the new highway can't help but spur development in the county. The project, in his words, "opens that whole world out there".
If you add the cost of extending Lorraine Cowan, the total price tag of the project is 96 million dollars.
And although the road work is on time, don't expect completion anytime soon. The northern half won't be finished until the spring of 2007. The southern section will be done a year after that.