MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Work to reconstruct a median in downtown Moss Point that has been the center of controversy and criticism is almost complete. Those who live and work in the area say the changes are long overdue.
When Moss Point's previous administration spent millions in grant funding installing the median in the Downtown district, many drivers and business owners were livid about it.
"I think it was a waste of money. A lot of roads that need fixing in Moss Point, they could have used it for different things," a resident said.
Sonic Owner Joyce Bray said the median drove people away from her business.
"The first six months when they started the project until the end of the year, I lost $197,000 from what I have done the pervious July to December," said Bray.
Bray said the problem was drivers could no longer turn directly into Sonic from the other side of the road.
"To get to Sonic, I have to go all the way around, come back and then come back again," a driver said.
Ann Waller's tax office is just a few feet away the median. She said the project has been a danger for drivers.
"I have almost been hit trying to pull in and out of here because people were trying to get around the people. It has been kind of crazy," Waller said.
The city's new mayor, Billy Broomfield, and the board of alderman worked with MDOT and Neil Schaeffer Engineering to find a fix. In May, work began to remove three sections of median and add more turning lanes downtown.
"I am thrilled because now I can get to Sonic easier and Hancock Bank easier. Those were big issues," Waller said.
The modification project is 85 percent complete. In the next few weeks, engineers said paving work will take place, then stripping and signage will be added where the median has disappeared.
"As far as I know, everybody is delighted. The people who own the car wash next to me, they are going to open back up, so hopefully that will generate a little business. We just have to wait and see what happens," said Bray.
Moss Point officials said the median work should be finished next month.