Busy Gulfport road could be widened

City leaders will decide whether or not they will widen Landon Road in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News)
City leaders will decide whether or not they will widen Landon Road in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT/BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - More lanes could be coming to Landon Road in Gulfport. That's if city leaders approve the project in next Tuesday's council meeting and if the project is approved for the Public Works Grants program of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

The grant would cover around half of the project's costs. WLOX News talked to a few people to find out what they think about the possible road widening.

Landon Road is already located in the center of hotels, a Sam's Club and the future Anchor Plaza shopping center that is planned for the area. With more development comes more traffic.

"Just the amount of traffic that has been flowing here over the last five years, it's increased a lot more," said one driver.

For those who use the road daily, the traffic headache is especially bad during rush hours.

"At lunch time, we're waiting 10 to 15 minutes at the traffic light, with our catering girls, trying to get to the destination on time. So it, it's bad. It puts us behind. It puts our customers behind coming in and out for lunch," said Laurie Gills, who is a manager at Newk's.

Plans for the estimated $2.7 million project call for widening 1,575 feet of roadway, starting at Highway 49 going all the way to Coleman Road.

Driver's say with all the commercial developments already here, and more on the way, the improvements would only benefit the growing retail area.

"One, it needs to be re-paved because of all the bumps. If they are going to widen it a little bit, I think it would benefit everybody in the long run," said another driver.

"Well, it's a lot better. You'd probably go there more," said another motorist.

"Definitely would help us. It would give the people the chance to get in and out of here at lunch time. Some of them only have an hour. They don't have the time to wait in traffic," said Gills.

In addition to widening the roadway, there would also be improvements made to the intersection and railroad crossing.

The city is expected to vote on the project next Tuesday. If approved, the grant covers either $1 million or 50 percent of the project, whichever is the smaller amount. City leaders say the other $1.7 million would come from the city and tax increment financing associated with the Anchor Plaza development.

Despite city leaders having to approve the project, Gulfport Director of Engineering Kris Rieman says the project is also contingent on the grant being approved. He says the deadline to apply for the grant is Oct. 15.

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