WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - Some big changes at the Woolmarket exit off I-10 have plenty of people talking. The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently installed roundabouts on each side of the interstate.
So, is it a traffic improvement project or an accident waiting to happen? It is a dramatic change, and it's something drivers will certainly have to get used to.
Drivers in Woolmarket are running in circles. New traffic roundabouts on both sides of the interstate are supposed to improve traffic flow.
Stop signs are no longer posted at the base of the I-10 ramps. Drivers instead must yield before entering the traffic circle.
"This is a cluster, man. It's a cluster. A cluster," shouted one passing motorist, clearly unhappy with the changes.
Many motorists we talked with are not very fond of the new traffic circles. These Woolmarket roundabouts will certainly take some getting used to.
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life. We don't live in London, come on," said one man.
His friend added, "Nobody's used to it, and it's the only place in the whole area around here that I know of that's like that. So, it's totally different. I just don't understand it."
MDOT District Engineer Kelly Castleberry said he checked out the traffic flow at the two roundabouts early Friday morning and found it was flowing smoothly. However, he admits it will take a good bit of driver education before motorists get used to the change.
At least one driver we talked with is willing to give it a chance.
"It's going to take just going through it and seeing how to go around it. That's all. It should be good. If it improves traffic flow, it's good," said the young man.
A word of warning to drivers: Slow down, pay attention to the arrows, and remember that once you're inside the circle, you have the right of way.
So, a better way, or an accident waiting to happen? The new curves will have to prove effective to many doubting drivers.
"I see no reason for it. I mean, everything worked fine before. You had a stop sign, now you're confusing everybody, and it's going to be an accident before long," said one motorist.