D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Black Friday is a big test for any kind of road infrastructure, especially in what is arguably the busiest retail center on the Coast; the Promenade.
While it's usually pretty busy coming into and leaving the Promenade, Black Friday traffic promised to stretch the abilities of new road improvements designed to help the flow.
For many shoppers, the changes made the trip quicker. For businesses, it paid dividends.
"The road work was fine. It's been an improvement," said Brett Hudson, of Biloxi. "They've actually moved forward, and it's moving traffic a lot better in the past few months than previously."
James Bounds, a resident of Florida and a Coast native, agreed.
"I'd definitely say it's better," Bounds said. "Three or four years ago, it would take 30 to 45 minutes to get from the corner down here by the Walgreens to this area right here."
Jennifer Quach, of Ocean Springs, had plenty of problems years ago.
"Before the new bridge it was really slow," Quach said. "It'd probably take like, I'm not over-exaggerating, an hour to get in. Now, it took like 15 minutes even with Black Friday traffic."
Work is not complete by any means, but significant improvements have been the key to successful commerce.
There's the connector bridge between the Promenade and Lakeview Village that has now seen two Black Fridays. There's widening on Sangani Boulevard with new traffic signals. There's continued improvement on Lamey Bridge Road, and there's a new access for westbound traffic to Interstate 10 from Promenade Parkway.
Lt. Shannon Nobels, with the D'Iberville Police Department, gives the improvements an A-plus.
"In years past, we've had to have manpower to actually get out in the road and direct traffic, and we have not had that one time this year so far," Nobels said. "So, we're lucky with the new infrastructure and things moving quickly."
The D'Iberville Boulevard Interchange should be complete by spring, and all of the D'Iberville Interchange project, which includes Lamey Bridge Road and Big Ridge Road, should be complete by fall next year.