MDOT Project Underway To Alleviate Traffic Congestion In Jackson County

Since Katrina there have been quite a few traffic snarls and delays at the intersection of Highway 609 and I-10, but work has begun on a $2 million project to help ease the area's traffic problems.

"We're actually making geometric improvements to this intersection as far as the I-10 ramps, and we're doing some signalization improvements with the lights. We're putting new signals up at both ramps, and we're going to have them communicate with each other to have them become much more efficient," said MDOT's District Area Engineer Kelly Castleberry.

Work on the project began in the beginning of December.

"The first part of the project was the asphalt widening on the on-ramps coming onto I-10 from Biloxi. Of course, there have been some modifications to the off ramp here as well," Castleberry said.

Castleberry says MDOT plans to expand the dual turn lanes at the I-10 west ramp.  However, he admits this project will not completely eliminate the area's traffic problems.

"Even with our improvements, there will be some congestion here, but it will be a little more efficient than it is, and once the bridge gets built, then traffic should be back to normal as we knew it before the storm," Castleberry said.

Businesses along 609 have also expressed the need for streetlights. Castleberry says efforts are underway to provide more lighting along the busy thoroughfare.

"There's talk that we're going to put some lights up. We have some signal modifications along 609, all the way to the Washington Avenue and Highway 90 intersection. We're looking at that as well, and hopefully that will progress in the future," Castleberry said.

The multi-million dollar project is slated for completion in late summer or early fall.