MDOT holds open forum on Hwy. 90 improvements in Jackson Co.

MDOT holds open forum on Hwy. 90 improvements in Jackson Co.

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation is working on improving your sometimes congested commute on Hwy. 90 in Jackson County.

As we found out at a public hearing Thursday at the Ocean Springs Civic Center, some residents were pleased with the project, and others were worried about how it would affect their property.

Several people got a chance to check out the plans for the proposed Hwy. 90 improvement project in Jackson County.

"We have a lot of congestion on the Hwy. 90 corridor, especially this time of day. Motorists trying to get to this meeting are encountering congestion right now," said District Engineer for MDOT Kelly Castleberry.

That's why these plans call for adding an additional thru lane in each direction of Hwy. 90 starting at Vermont Ave. in Ocean Springs all the way to Dolphin St. in Gautier. That means Hwy. 90 would go from four lanes to six.

"The purpose of the project is to add a lane in each direction, increase capacity, and provide for a safer highway," said Castleberry.

"As a resident in Ocean Springs, I can tell you there are some pretty good backups you know, particularly heading west," said a resident who is in favor of the project.

James Little said he is also in favor of the project. He just isn't a fan of one aspect of it.

"They need to cut into my property in order to widen that, and I don't think that's necessary, because they have plenty of room now to do what they need to do. They can be very generous with other people's property, and we all know about government, right? Big government? Take what they want, this and that. I don't want them to take any more than they absolutely have to," said Little.

"Main thing is get feedback from the public, look at concerns that they may have. Let them view what MDOT has on their mind of what they are going to put in the form of a project, and then from there, we'll see if we can incorporate their concerns into that," Castleberry said.

"They are going to try to mitigate it. They are going to look at and get back to me, and that's all I can ask and that's fair," said Little.

MDOT is going to continue to take in questions and concerns from residents before the project will move forward.

MDOT officials must locate utility lines and complete a drainage study and then get enough state and federal funding to do the project. The estimated start date is 2021.

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