GULFPORT (WLOX) - Orange barrels and road closings are signs of work in progress off Highway 49, north of the I-10 overpass.
The first stop is Landon Road. Road improvements are needed to support traffic anticipated to follow the opening of a new Sam's Club. The Sam's Club off Highway 49 is expected to wrap up in February of 2009.
Two lanes of Landon Road could open up as soon as three weeks from now, according to Gulfport's Director of Public works Kris Riemann. Riemann says Sam's Club officials are trying to avoid shutting down traffic the entire time the project is underway. When completed, two turning lanes will lead into Landon Road off Highway 49. The road will also have five lanes.
Down the road, the new Best Buy is on its way to completion. A store manager at its current location says the new building will have more room. It's also being built as a "green store," making it more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The project is set to wrap up in mid November.
With traffic flow on Highway 49 becoming rather heavy at times, the impact on school zones is the concern up the road.
A service road now sits off Dedeaux Road between old Highway 49 and the new one. Eventually, the goal is to create a new road that makes a "u" from Dedeaux Road back out to Highway 49 toward Landon Road. The road would encircle the Harrison Central Elementary School campus.
It might be quite some time before drivers see any relief from that proposal, as land rights and agreements with neighboring business owners must be worked out.