GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The City of Gulfport is breaking ground on the first phase of a widening and beautification project for Dedeaux Rd. City leaders happily broke ground on the project, which will bring the busy street from two to four lanes, adding medians and sidewalks.
Gulfport resident Ed Stewart says he's lived on Dedeaux Rd. since childhood, and has watched traffic go from virtually non-existent to high volume.
"It's very much needed. It's been needed for a while. You saw the emergency vehicle coming right there. At certain times of the day, the lines of traffic are so long, the emergency vehicles can't get through," said Stewart.
Councilman R. Lee Flowers says this $6 million project has been in the works for years. He said this is the first phase of the project, which will run from Three Rivers Rd. east to DeDe Rd. and will likely take about a year to complete.
"It will have sidewalks, a bike path, and decorative lamp posts like on Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 605 and those areas. It will do a lot to beautify this area, add to property values, hopefully, and at least stabilize them," said Flowers. "It's about a half mile, but we want to widen the entire length of the road from Three Rivers Rd. all the way to Hwy. 605 eventually. In the later phases, we'll hopefully do those."
Flowers says the Orange Grove area around Dedeaux Rd. experienced a major boom right after Hurricane Katrina, with many people wanting to move further north after the storm's catastrophic flooding.
"You have a lot of folks that had been used to public transportation and sidewalks that now walk along the edge of our road, because there are no sidewalks up here. This will add that amenity, and that is really needed. It's a necessity to our area," said Flowers.
The City of Gulfport says street lights, drainage improvements, and utility adjustments are also part of the planned construction work.