I-10, Old Hwy. 90 roadwork creates traffic nightmare in Hancock Co.

I-10, Old Hwy. 90 roadwork creates traffic nightmare in Hancock Co.

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As WLOX News reported two months ago, the Louisiana Department of Transportation has a $40 million interstate resurfacing project going on from the West Pearl River Bridge to the French Branch Bridge in Slidell.

Detours in the Magnolia State are clogging up the streets and causing headaches for a lot of drivers.

With lanes closed and traffic often moving at a snail's pace on Interstate 10, many drivers heading west are taking alternate routes. One way around the interstate puts drivers on Old Highway 90 in Pearlington.

Longtime residents say Old Highway 90 hasn't seen this much traffic since the 1960s before I-10 was built.

"This road has never seen traffic like this," said Pearlington resident Joe Johnson.

"It's increased 80 to 90 percent. I'll bet you have people passing through Pearlington who have never heard of Pearlington," said Robert Smith, a Pearlington native.

Old Highway 90 and Highway 604 were viable options for drivers up until last week. That's when construction crews began rewiring the mechanics on the Old Highway 90 Pearl River Bridge.

"I don't see how they can be working on a bridge and the highway at the same time," said Sylvia Vonbehren.

The Bay St. Louis resident is on a deadline, and every second counts.

"It's a major inconvenience. We have to go to the doctor appointments in Slidell. We have to go to doctor's appointments in New Orleans. This is our second trip this week," explained Vonbehren.

But, she's not alone.

"We have to make a flight. We're flying to Dallas," said Stan Owens, of Mobile, AL.

Wayne Molinary decided to take Old Highway 90 after seeing what I-10 was like.

"The I-10 is backed up heading west. It's got to be 10 miles, 12 miles, as far as I could see. That's why we took this way to beat the traffic and doesn't look like we did a good job," said Molinary.

The good news is the I-10 work near the state line is expected to be completed in late August or early September.

LDOT leaders say the entire interstate project should be finished by summer of next year. The repair work on the Old Highway 90 Bridge is expected to be completed within three to four weeks.

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