Hancock Co. officials search for solution to dangerous road

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - An estimated 6,000 vehicles travel Blue Meadow Road in Hancock County every day. The street has seen its share of traffic accidents over the years. Just talk to the folks who live around here and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't witnessed a wreck here.

"I saw a couple near misses, a couple of fender benders," said Hancock County resident Marty Arsenault.

The latest accident happened on Friday, at the intersection of Blue Meadow Road and Hollywood Boulevard.  Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but other drivers haven't been so lucky.

"Once you pass the school, the road narrows and the ditches get deep. If you're not paying attention, you'll drive off of the roadway," said Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike DeNardo.

Blue Meadow Road leads to a busy shopping center, three schools and the Hollywood Casino.

"Plus, we have some big subdivisions toward the back part of this area that have a lot of cars going in and out. It just makes for a very congested area," Bay St. Louis resident Larry Smith said.  

"With the amount of traffic we have in that area, it's a lot of traffic for a two lane road," DeNardo said.

City leaders say there are a number of improvements that can be made to ease the congestion and cut down on wrecks.

"The biggest safety hazard, as it relates to the travel lanes on Blue Meadow Road, is the complete lack of a shoulder. There is no shoulder on the road, and there are some very large, deep ditches that run along both sides of that roadway," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame. "So, there is no room for error if somebody swerves or moves out of the lane. There is no room for error. We defiantly need to close the ditches and have sidewalks. In addition to some signaling and some traffic controls at the two main intersections on that little stretch of roadway, we also need to widen the lanes."

Fillingame says the city's next challenge is to find funding to do the work.

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