JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County is moving forward with plans to improve safety at a very busy and dangerous intersection near St. Martin High School. Faculty and staff feel the improvements are long overdue.
Several people who live and work near the Old Fort Bayou Road and Yellow Jacket Road intersection describe it as risky and dangerous.
"Right here is a curve, and there is a blind side. If a car is coming up and a little bit over the line, there are a lot of collisions that can happen here," resident and St. Martin High teacher Angela Heise said.
Heise and Principal Dina Holland work minutes away from the crossroads at St. Martin High School.
"A lot of students and a lot of teachers go this way, and do I fear for them? Absolutely. We have had many accidents on this intersection as well as down Old Fort Bayou Road. That concerns me, because there is no turning lane," Holland said.
"As you can see, this car, she has to wait for the traffic here, and there is only one stop sign," Heise said.
Jackson County Supervisor Troy Ross understands their concerns. He admits the county hit several bumps in the road when it came to getting a plan in place to improve the intersection.
"The holdup has been at the beginning was a funding issue, and then it became an issue of waiting for the plans to be developed. Then, it became an issue of waiting for utilities to be moved, and that is where we are right now. We are ready to go into the construction phase," Ross said.
Ross said the area will go through a safety makeover, including removing this blind curve and creating turning options.
"Where the stakes are, we are going to have additional turning bays to help with traffic flow, and you are going to have a traffic light that will go over this intersection. The road over here will basically go away, and you will have a traditional 90 degree four way intersection," said Ross
Holland and Heise said they welcome any changes that will keep their coworkers, neighbors and especially children safe.
"I would like the board of supervisors to know how grateful we are for the progress they have shown us far, but please, don't let this be the end," said Holland. "Let's continue to find the tax dollars, so our children can have a safe journey to school as well."
Ross said construction on the intersection is set to begin this summer. The project will cost $2.4 million, and it's being paid for with a combination of federal, state and local funds.