Long Beach pursuing I-10 exit project - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach pursuing I-10 exit project

The City of Long Beach is considering a road project that calls for creating a new Long Beach exit off I-10 by extending Klondyke Road to the north. (Photo source: WLOX) The City of Long Beach is considering a road project that calls for creating a new Long Beach exit off I-10 by extending Klondyke Road to the north. (Photo source: WLOX)
Currently, drivers can get to Long Beach by taking exits 28 or 31 off the interstate, but both require additional turns to reach the city.  (Photo source: WLOX) Currently, drivers can get to Long Beach by taking exits 28 or 31 off the interstate, but both require additional turns to reach the city. (Photo source: WLOX)
LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

City leaders in Long Beach are pitching an economic development project. They're hoping to secure BP money to create a new Long Beach exit off Interstate 10.

Drivers currently have two main options for traveling to Long Beach from I-10: Exits 28 and 31. The trouble is, neither one provides a straight shot to the city.

"It means so much to a community like ours. We have several exits that come to Long Beach, but each one you have to divert different directions to get down here. And it would be nice to be like some of the other communities across the coast where an exit goes into your town," said Mayor Billy Skellie.

The plan proposed by alderman Gary Ponthieux, calls for extending Klondyke Road north to the interstate. That new interchange would then give drivers on I-10 a straight shot into the friendly city.

"This is an economic development issue. This is a USM Gulf Park issue, to make a straight shot to the campus. There's a lot involved here that would be a positive for the city and for the western end of the coast to have this shot here," said Mayor Skellie.

Many residents we talked with haven't heard about the I-10 project. But once they hear the basic plans, most support the idea.

"I think it would be a great idea. I'd like to be more informed about it and hear more about it," said one woman.

"Oh, I think it would be great for the development of the city. Right now, we're just sort of stagnant. I think it'd be great," said Dave Anderson.

Along with potential economic development, several residents mentioned traffic improvement.

"Well, it'll relieve a traffic problem. And people will be able to get around better," said one man.

"It sounds really good. I think it would help traffic and be just good for the city," a woman added.

It may have some public support, but does the project have a legitimate shot?

"I think it's a fair proposal to be looked at and see if we can do it. I think it has a shot. It has merit," said the mayor.

Long Beach has another road project it is pursuing, with support from Pass Christian. That one calls for extending Beatline Road to the south, over the railroad tracks, to connect with Highway 90.

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