Gulfport leaders hoping for traffic light at dangerous intersection

Gulfport leaders hoping for traffic light at dangerous intersection
With new businesses and more homes on either side of Lorraine Rd., the Taylor Rd. intersection warrants a traffic light. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - City leaders are making moves to put a traffic light at a busy Gulfport intersection. Several accidents at Lorraine Rd. and East Taylor Rd. have prompted repeated requests by the city for MDOT to install a light.

Now, the City of Gulfport is using outside help in an effort to prevent more accidents. City leaders hired an outside firm to look into whether the bustling interchange needs a stop light. People in the area are thankful for the investigation.

The owner of the Dermatology Clinic, Dr. Angela Wingfield, said she's overjoyed that the issue of putting a traffic light in front of her office is being revisited.

"Patients frequently get hit there. We have some elderly patients with skin cancer who don't understand this intersection, and we've had to administer help to people who'd just finished their appointment, left, and got hit at the intersection," said Wingfield.

The City of Gulfport said by the end of this week, they'll submit a permit application to MDOT that will request a light be built there. Gulf Regional Planning put a traffic counter across Lorraine Rd. on Wednesday.

"It's gotten worse. We were here by ourselves for five years, and now with all this development around us, there are more homes and a lot more people coming through," said Wingfield.

A few months ago, the city hired the independent engineering firm Neel Schaffer to tally up traffic numbers on both sides of the four-lane highway. The study found what many say they already knew. A traffic light needs to be at this crossing.

"Earlier this week, there was a three-car pileup. It gets worse and worse with more people coming through the intersection," said Wingfield.

Now, it's up to the city to prove its case to MDOT.

"A light's been needed here for eight years. There's so much traffic in and out of this new development, and we're on a down slope of two bridges and in a curve. People are speeding, and not paying attention to a busy intersection," Wingfield said.

City Councilman Ricky Dombrowski said if the permit submitted this week for MDOT to install the new light is approved, construction will begin soon after.

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