Landon Road expansion may take years - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Landon Road expansion may take years

While the number of businesses have increased along Landon Road,  Landon Road has not. And it make take years before construction can start. (Photo: WLOX) While the number of businesses have increased along Landon Road, Landon Road has not. And it make take years before construction can start. (Photo: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Business is growing fast along Landon Road in Gulfport, but Landon Road isn’t.

The plans are in, but it likely will be years before relief is in sight. It’s not easy for those who drive Landon Road every day - or even every once in a while.

“There’s people trying to pass. It’s busy. You’ve go all the sporting events going on. You’ve got the water park. You’ve got the traffic for the new businesses,” said Karrie Reed. “It’s really – it’s unbearable at times.”

The congestion is at its worst from Highway 49 to Old Highway 49 at the entrance to Sam’s.

About eight businesses - restaurants and hotels - front or have entrances onto Landon Road in that small space. And, more are coming.

“I’m happy the business is coming in,” said Becky Butler who learned how to drive on Landon Road. “It’s an economic boost for our city. The traffic, you learn to live with it and I’ve grown up with it. But this area definitely needs to be widened.”

And it will be. But Gulfport officials say it will likely take at least two years before any work starts. Just obtaining the rights of way could take a year.

A proposed expansion route for Landon is from Highway 49 to 34th Avenue. The city's obligation is to Coleman Road; it’s up to the county after that.

The city will have to pay about 20 percent of the estimated cost of $4 million to $5 million. The rest will come from federal and MDOT money.

The proposed route will be presented at an MDOT public hearing on June 13.

“It’ll come in time and probably have more businesses here by the time the widening is completed,” Butler said

In the meantime, navigating through the congestion is a safety issue.

“I stress the fact of paying attention, leave the phone alone,” Butler added. “You know, pay attention to what's going on. Traffic’s heavy around here.”

It’s not a problem for one business owner in the area.

“I’m from New Orleans, so this is a minor inconvenience compared to what I'm used to,” said Frank Williams. “I think it’s always best to let business push you up to what you need rather than build it and pray that they come.”

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