GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A project is underway that could make your drive on Pass Road a little easier. The city of Gulfport is upgrading more than a dozen traffic signals along the thoroughfare. But the work could cause a few headaches for drivers.
Pass Road has been operating in Gulfport with the same traffic signal technology for around 20 years. The city is hoping to change that with a system overhaul. Sixteen intersections are getting new hardware and software in hopes of making the flow of traffic a little better.
"Basically, the signals will kind of think on their own and adapt to the heavier flow traffic at different times a day, instead of just running on a strictly time to basis," said Justin Lewis with Lewis Electric Incorporated.
Each intersection takes about an hour to complete. During that time the traffic signal is shut down. That's where the Gulfport Police Department steps in to manually help the constant flow of vehicles. This means a few detours, but the driving public doesn't seem to mind.
"If they can keep things more efficient that would be fantastic," said driver Tammy Golladay.
According to the installation team, the new system will better detect when cars are present. That's good news to many drivers.
"Instead of sitting around when nobody's around, just driving through," said driver John Richardson.
Officials with the city of Gulfport say this new system could be the future of traffic signals throughout the city. Many drivers seem to be ready for a new system.
"This is ridiculous. I've been sitting here and sitting here," said Paulette Siegel, while waiting at a red light at the intersection of Tegarden Road and Pass Road.
City officials are hoping to eliminate frustration with the new system once it's fully installed. Until then, safety is key, so drivers need to remain cautious and patient through the process.
The $450,000 project should be complete in about two to three weeks. It is mostly being funded through MDOT with the city picking up 20 percent of the bill.