Ocean Springs mayor wants to widen Hwy 90

Ocean Springs mayor wants to widen Hwy 90

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Rush hour traffic can be expected on your daily commute, but in one Coast city the highway traffic is beginning to frustrate people.

Looking at the sunset and water, the evening drive along U.S. Highway 90 can be nice to take in until you get into Ocean Springs where rush hour traffic can be a headache.

Mayor Shea Dobson said he knows how bad it can get from driving in it himself, and he’s trying to make that change and maybe widen it to a six-lane highway.

“I’ve had people tell me that they flat out will avoid Ocean Springs during the rush hour times, and I don’t want that," Dobson said.

Highway 90 congestion in Ocean Springs is getting so bad, that Dobson is asking anyone running for governor or lieutenant governor to pledge to prioritizing widening the highway.

One candidate, Jay Hughes, jumped in the comments on Facebook and said that he will, saying he spends a lot of time on the Coast and he gets the problem people are having.

Other citizens chimed in to say they agree. One person even pointed out the traffic lights in a section of the highway are not programmed correctly, which adds to the issue.

Not everyone agrees that widening the street will solve the problem.

“It seems the more you widen roads, the more it causes accidents and the construction causes a delay,” said Marie Garbin.

Garbin runs a small business on Highway 90, and from her experience on East Coast highways, she thinks adding additional lanes will only create a bigger traffic nightmare.

“Once construction is done, in my experience it seems like there is even more people thinking they can switch lanes and drive faster because it’s a three-lane road that they are trying to get across now," she said.

A few years ago, MDOT made plans to widen the highway but had to set the plans aside due to budget issues.

Regardless of what does or doesn't happen, the mayor doesn't see the issue going away anytime soon.

“This is a very important highway for Ocean Springs, and so it’s just frustrating that it’s not getting the attention that I think it deserves," Dobson said.

If the highway does get widened, there are drains and culverts on either side of the shoulders that will need to be taken into consideration.

What happens to them and how will the road be shaped alongside them were other concerns people had about the highway being widened.

All of these questions will need to be answered by MDOT if is decides to widen Highway 90 in Ocean Springs.

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