Plans released for 2nd roundabout on Airport Rd.

Plans released for 2nd roundabout on Airport Rd.

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A second roundabout on Airport Rd. in Gulfport is closer to becoming a reality.

In a public meeting on Thursday, project engineer Ben Smith explained why an improvement is necessary to make traffic flow better; especially during rush hours.

"There's a lot of congestion during certain times of the day, and it's a dangerous intersection a lot of traffic at high speeds," said Smith. "We think a roundabout will be more efficient, safer and long-term lower maintenance for the city."

Two of the three roundabout proposals call for Airport Road to be shifted, making it a straighter approach into the intersection. Engineers are also paying close attention to a pair of factors before beginning construction.

"There are long term plans for the airport to increase their safety zones and object free areas that will keep things like roads, lights and other obstructions out of the runway protection zone," Smith said. "The other is there are wetlands adjacent to the current roadway and our goal is to try and avoid as many of those as possible."

Members of the Turkey Creek Homeowners Association submitted a letter of opposition to the plans. The letter claims that roundabouts are unsafe, confusing, and not easy to drive through.

The price tag for the project is estimated to cost around $2 million, and could start before the end of 2018. The project is expected to take about one year to complete, and will be funded by the City of Gulfport and MDOT.

If the project moves forward, Airport Road will have roundabouts at each end. The roundabout at Airport Road and Three Rivers intersection was completed in 2015.

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