OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Plans are underway to relieve the frustrations of drivers along Highway 90 in Jackson County. On Friday, MDOT officials will meet with a consultant to discuss coming up with designs to widen a 12 mile section from four lanes to six lanes.
Surveyors have been working from Vermont Avenue in Ocean Springs, which is near the Winn Dixie, to Dolphin Drive in Gautier, which is around Lowes.
Drivers said anyone who is in a hurry should avoid Highway 90 in Ocean Springs around 4 pm. They said that's when a usually short trip turns into a half hour drive or more.
"It gets pretty heavy," driver Patsy Foreman said. "It's kind of hard to get around. You have to wait at the lights a long time because there is so much traffic. People getting off work. Kids getting out of school and going to their various activities."
"Very busy. It takes longer for me to get from my house to work because there is so much traffic," said driver Sylvia Hodges.
As the traffic backs up, motorists say tempers flare.
"We've seen a couple of fingers and a few horns. People get aggravated. You try to get through as fast as you can but you just can't rush," said driver Lois Bosarge. "My brother lives in St. Martin and we go over there a lot. If we have to be there by five then we need to leave a little before four. The traffic. Everybody coming home from work. It really gets backed up, so six lanes would really help out a lot."
Along with widening a 12 mile stretch of Highway 90, MDOT officials said they are also looking to ease congestion by extending frontage roads and widening turn lanes at the larger intersections.
"I actually think it would be an excellent idea. Mainly to relieve some of that problem and then also bear in mind during hurricane season that would be a good escape route to help us get out the way," said Foreman.
Ocean Springs Alderman John Gill said he supports a wider Highway 90, but city leaders don't want anyone to have to suffer in the name of progress.
"We just want to look at the plans and make sure that the city agrees with the plans before they start construction," Gill said. "Because we have to worry about the businesses along Highway 90. You have to make sure during the construction phase that it doesn't interfere with any of the businesses."
MDOT officials say they've already adjusted traffic signals a few times to help keep traffic moving. However, with a high volume of cars that can only do so much.