Gulfport To MDOT: Find Another Connector Route

Gulfport's mayor says the city needs a link from 1-10 to the state port and downtown, and Brent Warr says another road is needed to ease traffic on Highway 49. But the mayor says what Gulfport doesn't need is MDOT's proposed flyover connector.

"The city is asking the Mississippi Department of Transportation to construct an alternative plan with the southern portion of the Canal Road connector which will include utilizing the existing 30th Avenue as a four lane along its current alignment," Warr says.

He says that route will accommodate traffic between the port and the proposed connection and in the area of 28th Street.

Just last week, transportation commissioner Wayne Brown told WLOX News there have been many meetings and hearings about the proposal and to change the design now will delay the project for years.

But Mayor Warr says MDOT is paying for the road with taxpayer dollars and the agency needs to listen to the people.

"An elevated connector is not the only solution, nor is it the most practical solution, and it is certainly not the best solution for the City of Gulfport."

A few citizens, with signs expressing their opposition to MDOT, agree.

Mary Beth Hopper says, "I come from California and I've seen what happens when they have the big roads that don't work and I just hate to see that happen here on the Coast."

Commissioner Brown says the planned connector will cost $300 million. He says ten percent of that will come from state fuel tax collections and the other 90-percent will be paid through the Federal Highway Administration.