GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For those who often travel on State Route 605 in Gulfport, as of Tuesday, you've probably noticed something new just north of Interstate 10. The new directional median boundaries reduce the 18 major conflict points, down to only four.
"I think it's the best thing that they could do. If it wasn't going to be a red light, then at least you can't cut straight cross," Jennifer Wedderman said.
Jennifer Wedderman drives down 605 every day, to and from work. She says she's been waiting on the city to do something about the dangerous intersection. Tuesday, she instantly noticed the new road medians.
"I think it puts everybody's safety first. People get in rushes at four way stops, they don't stop and look on both sides, and there's more accidents caused by being in a rush than taking the long way, you know, an extra minute or two to the light," Wedderman said.
The new medians require traffic to exit Helen Richards Road using the frontage road on the east, or make a southbound turn from the west side.
All cross traffic has been prohibited.
U-turns are allowed at the signalized intersections at Dedeaux Road and at I-10, in designated turn lanes.
Michael Barber said with his job, he has to travel state road 605 two to three times a day, and he's not necessarily pleased with having to take a minor detour to hop back on Interstate 10.
"It might be a little safer to keep people from trying to go straight across to go back the opposite way, but then it's an inconvenience for us to have to go down and then turn around and come back," Barber said.
Gulfport Councilman R. Lee Flowers said after installing the directional meridian, there may be an adjustment period for those daily 605 drivers, but it'll help reduce the number of accidents.
"It's a minor inconvenience compared to getting involved in a car accident and there's been multiple car accidents that have happened here. So, hopefully, this will save some lives. I'm very certain that it will and it's much needed," Councilman Flowers said.
In the last five years, there were approximately 74 crashes at the intersection, most of which were angle type crashes.