Fixing A Dangerous Intersection, But When?

No matter the time of day, traffic is always bumper to bumper at the busy Ocean Springs Road/Highway 90 intersection.

"It's an awful dangerous intersection," one driver says. "I see a lot of accidents here."

"Definitely an accident waiting to happen, definitely," says another driver.

That's not entirely an exaggeration. In the last three years there have been 200-300 accidents at this intersection. Just this year alone, officers have worked 77 wrecks here.

"Statistically, yes, we have quite a few accidents at that location," police chief Kerry Belk says. "And the majority of accidents appear that the cause is inattention and failure to yield to right of way."

Still, the high number points to a problem.

"I'm sure I can speak for the men and ladies who work under me, [they] would love to see that intersection changed, improved," says Belk.

Consultant Brian Fulton says of the intersection, "One of the worst, probably the worst in Jackson County."

Fulton says intersections are typically designed at a 90 degree angle.

"This intersection has a skewed angle and doesn't lend itself to safe movement of traffic."

Fulton says one idea is to realign Hospital Road as it meets with the highway.

"Realign the northern portions so that it ties into the Gulf Islands National Seashore entrance. Then the southern portion would be realigned with Guilford Road and provides a lot better access to Fort Bayou subdivision and the western entrance to the hospital.

"If you did that it would essentially be two intersections rather than one skewed intersection the way it is today."

Fulton says the improvements won't be cheap, but he says the county, the city and state transportation department are committed to paying for a safer intersection. He says the Mississippi Department of Transportation has pitched in $2 million for the project.