Courthouse Road in Gulfport could soon get a makeover

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On any given day, around 9,000 drivers travel Courthouse Road in Gulfport between Pass Road and Highway 90. That's why city leaders believe it is time to make some improvements to the busy street.

There is one part of a proposed plan that has some business owners a bit uneasy - raised medians. If the project is approved, medians would be placed from Perry Road to Highway 90.

"I think it could be a good thing as far as beautification of the neighborhood, but it could also be a safety factor," Sunbelt Lighting Appliance & Design Center Trevor Childs said. "We are right across from the post office, so people are always in and out. I think they need to consider where they put the crossovers very carefully."

Besides safety, Childs worries if a median is placed in front of his business, it could hide it from potential customers.

"It's hard to see the signs on the road where it is, so they should also consider that when they do the landscaping and things like that," Childs said.

Childs and other business owners said the other parts of the proposed $3.3 million project would be welcomed, that includes paving the road from Highway 90 to Pass Road and adding a sidewalk.

"Nezaty's, across the parking lot from us, has foot traffic all the time and there's no sidewalks as it is. I think it will be a great addition to the street," Childs said.

Owner of All Signs Michael Hage said, "As long as it doesn't take away any of my property, I think I would be in favor of it. I certainly think the bikers and the walkers need a place to travel up and down Courthouse Road; it would make it safer for them."

Streetlights and landscaping are also part of the improvements, as well as adding a pedestrian crossing signal at 33rd Street for Gulfport High Students.

"I think it certainly be an improvement to the area, it certainly would," Hage said.

"I think it would be a great thing," Childs agreed. "It would add a lot of character to the street."

The city of Gulfport will be responsible for putting up 20 percent of the cost, or about $671,000. That money, according to the council, was funded by a paving bond issue from 2012. The rest will come from a surface transportation funding program.

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