GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - MDOT crews are working on the stretch of Highway 49 from Airport Road to Creosote Road to ensure the street lights are working properly.
According to MDOT District Engineer Kelly Castleberry, the routine maintenance involves checking each light for any short circuits. He said sometimes with new development, underground cables can be compromised which results in the lights having issues.
Less than two weeks ago, a Gulfport Police officer struck a pedestrian near Airport Road as the man was crossing the street. The investigation into the accident is still underway, but many drivers say the area needs additional, or brighter, lights.
"Everything is so dark around here. Walmart's parking lot, Dedeaux Road, it's so dark in Gulfport. I really think a lot of lighting should be here for safety, and it may even reduce the crime rate," said Robin Killeen.
However, Castleberry said traffic signals and draw bridges are the first priority, not street lights. Gulfport Councilman R. Lee Flowers feels putting street lights on the back burner is unacceptable. Flowers has pushed to install LED lights along that stretch of road, but it's something that may have to wait.