Improvements Coming To Busy Ocean Springs Intersection

It is among the busiest, most congested intersections in the city.

The 53 accidents in and around Ocean Springs Road and Highway 90 over the past year, make it among the most dangerous. It's second only to the 74 wrecks at Washington Avenue and 90.

Over the years, the nearby hospital emergency room has seen plenty of accident victims from Ocean Springs Road and 90.

"It is our worst intersection," said Mayor Connie Moran, "And I've very pleased to be working with the county, with M-DOT and with the hospital to come to a solution."

That solution will not only realign this intersection, it will essentially do away with it. Ocean Springs Road north of 90 will be realigned with the entrance to Gulf Islands Seashore immediately to the east.

The southern section of Ocean Springs Road will be pushed westward and aligned with Guiliford Road just west of the hospital.

The new alignment should ease congestion for the public and for emergency vehicles.

"During peak traffic hours we really have problems with Ocean Springs Road bottle necking with Highway 90. And it makes it difficult to get into and out of the hospital, particularly with emergency vehicles. And that's a concern for us and the entire community," said Ocean Springs Hospital Administrator Kevin Holland.

The intersection improvements have been talked about for years. But the plan now appears to be making progress. Engineers are working on a final design. Once that's finished, it will go out for bids.

"We have some conceptual designs. I just presented that to my board of aldermen to get their input. There remains some other funding to be secured, but I believe it's going to be fast tracked," says Mayor Moran.

"There's a lot of momentum and hopefully we're going to start seeing some progress toward the end of this calendar year as I understand it," said Holland.

There's more traffic than ever at the intersection. And the numbers confirm it. The daily traffic count on Ocean Springs Road was around 4,000 vehicles in 2001. That count has now doubled to 8,000 cars a day.