Study Underway To Widen Busy Gulfport Road

A $2 million engineering study is underway to figure the best way to upgrade a busy Gulfport street. City officials say they definitely plan to widen a stretch of Dedeaux Road. The uncertainty is in when it will happen and how much it will cost.

Drivers say at certain times of day turning on and off of the two-lane section of Dedeaux Road can be difficult.

Perry Jackson said, "It's so much traffic here everyday. I think it would be less congested if they had at least four lanes, at least three lanes."

"I think it definitely needs to be widened with so much traffic out here," said Matt Newton. "It's a busy road."

Gulfport city officials say they've received $2 million in federal funds to look at widening Dedeaux.

Mayor Brent Warr said, "We certainly want to expand it and widen it to four lanes and even five lanes if we can. To connect the improvements that end right now from Three Rivers Road all the way to Cowan Road. We're excited to be able to start on the engineering for that project now."

Mayor Warr says until the engineering study is complete, it's impossible to tell how much the project the will cost. Council member Neil Resh, who is the representative for ward six, says much of the expense will come from having to buy surrounding property.

"The houses are so close to the road and in a certain point of the area that we are going to have to acquire those properties to widen this," Resh said. "These people are going to have to be given a certain amount of time to find another place to live. "

Gulfport leaders say this area continues to grow, so widening Dedeaux is essential.

"The safety concerns," said Resh. "Because you'll have an emergency lane in the center and that will also be like a turning lane. People can get off, traffic will be flowing steadily all the time and you'll eliminate, probably, a lot of rear end collisions."

Drivers will have to be patient though, because Resh says a wider Dedeaux is five years down the road. Gulfport won't have to shoulder the financial burden of widening Dedeaux Road alone. City officials say the project is a partnership with the state and federal government.