Vancleave closes roads for massive project

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX)- Alton Jones knows how hard it can be to drive down Poticaw Road in Vancleave.  He's lived there for years.

"It can just come a summer rain, a real quick hard summer rain," Jones said. "This road down here will flood out on you."

Like many other area residents, Jones has to drive at least five miles out of his way, through standing water, to leave his house after a storm.  But in just a few months, he will have another way out.

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors is working on a new extension of Monger's Creek Road. The 2.4 million dollar road has a higher elevation than the low-lying Poticaw Bayou Road, which floods every time it rains.

"This will give the residents another alternate route in, rather than detouring further back to the Northeast," said Bob Diamond.

Diamond is the President of Batson and Brown, Inc., an engineering firm that designed the project. The new road will also be safer than surrounding roads.

Diamond said, "(The new raod will) eliminates alot of the curves, and the safety hazards from the old existing road, so it will be straighter, wider and approved safety road."

Some residents worry the new road will bring new dangers.

"I'm excited to an extent, but the other thing it's gonna create is speeding. They're gonna take this curve out, and it will be a straight shot, and some people around here drive like bats outta you know what," Jones said.

For now, residents should pay attention to the road closures in the area.  Poticaw Bayou Road, between Sunset Lane and Boggy Branch Road, will be closed for a month.  Parts of Old River Road will close as well, later into the project.

Officials are asking for three things to help finish this project.

"Patience, favorable weather conditions and good luck with it because we are pressing forward with it," said Diamond.