GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Work is about to begin on a long-awaited Harrison County road project. Busy Canal Rd. will be repaved north of the interstate between Landon Rd. and John Clark Rd.
More than 9,000 vehicles a day travel that stretch of Canal.
"It's just taken a beating over the years, and it just needs to be updated and beefed up," said Harrison County Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton.
Crews are preparing the way for the repaving. The project will cover nearly two and a half miles from John Clark to Landon Rd.
"The paving will hopefully begin on September the 12," said Kibler-Middleton. "It's about a half million-dollar project, because it needs some infrastructure work. This road wasn't built to hold up to big trucks. When we had the port expansion, big trucks had to come down this way, and it was a safety issue to keep them off Hwy. 49. So, it just took a beating from that."
"I remember you get on Canal Rd. and it was gravel, and there was no traffic. You could walk all the way to Hwy. 49 or here to Landon Rd. and there just wasn't no traffic," Chuck Dedeaux recalled.
Dedeaux's family has been living and doing business on Canal Rd. for some 75 years. Things have changed drastically in that three quarters of a century. Traffic is now heavy.
"Especially now since they've got it cut from I-10 all the way to Hwy. 53. You can just look, traffic coming and going, coming and going," said Dedeaux.
One big reason for the increased traffic on Canal Rd. is the population in that area. So many people moved north of the interstate after Hurricane Katrina, adding to an already busy roadway.
Drivers are encouraged to find an alternate route when that paving gets started on Sept. 12.
Motorists are also reminded to slow down through the construction zone. Despite caution flags and someone directing traffic, county crews say too many motorists were paying little or no attention to the warnings today.