Residents Hear Plans To Expand Dedeaux Road

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Warren Rodkey lives just north of Dedeaux Road.  Jerry Johnston, Rodkey's neighbor, lives across the street, just south of the road.  While they reside on different sides of Dedeaux, they're on the same side when it comes to expansion.

"I like the one where it takes a little bit of property off of both sides of Dedeaux Road," says Warren Rodkey.

"They're going to ruffle some feathers whichever way they go, but I think probably the best is to take a little property from both sides of the road," says Jerry Johnston.

The three preliminary options include expanding the road to the north, the south or on both sides.

"We're looking at multiple options.  It may be a five lane session, four lanes with a center turning lane," says engineer Richard Ferguson.

The traffic division of the Gulfport Police Department says it has one main concern with regard to the project - one continuous turning lane. It says having an open turning lane could create some dangerous traffic situations as cars coming from both directions try to get into one turning lane.  Chief Alan Weatherford says a better option would be to put turning lanes alongside medians, something engineers are considering.

"We're also looking at a boulevard section which would be a four lane session with a raised median," says Ferguson.

With construction not set to begin for at least five years, Ferguson says they're taking the time to get as much feedback as possible.

"We're not as familiar with the local issues as the locals will be, so having their participation is very important. "

Engineers say it will take at least 16 months before one plan will be ready.  After that, they say it's possible there will be another public hearing.

The project will cost about $12 million.  Right now, the city says it only has about $2 million to cover costs.  It plans to look for more federal funding.