GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A much needed road widening project is in the works for the City of Gulfport. Rebecca Lowery lives in Saucier, but she travels down 28th Street to get to and from work every day.
"I just hope they get it done quick, and I'm glad that they're doing it. This is long overdue. It really is," Lowery said. "I personally have seen an increase in traffic just in the last four years, especially right after Katrina, because I work right over there, and I use this road a lot to go the back way home, so I think it'll help."
The City of Gulfport will be working with MDOT on this nearly $5 million project that will widen what's now a two lane roadway, starting at 22nd Avenue through 34th Avenue, into five lanes, including a continuous left turning lane.
Ryan Merrill, who's the city's budget analyst, says the city is doing what it can to improve traffic flow as well as capacity of the roadway
"We're going to do whatever we can, as well as MDOT, to get traffic moving in the right direction as needed. This will be a great project for just our whole area. Especially because we have a lot of heavy trucks that travel this area as well as residents and citizens," Merrill said.
Merrill says the 28th Street road widening project is anticipated to begin at the beginning of 2015, and take around a year to complete.
Commuters, like Hilton Gayten, think the year long construction may be a bit of a headache, but already look forward to the finished product.
"It would be an inconvenience, but I think it's well worth it. I think it's about time, because that road is traveled a lot by civilians and military. I say it's about time for them to widen the road," Gayten said.
Merrill says 80 percent of the project is funded by MDOT and 20 percent will be funded by the City of Gulfport. The city anticipates being able to advertise for construction bids by October.