GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - One of the busiest stretches of road in Gulfport is about to get even busier.
Commercial business on Cowan-Lorraine Road between Pass Road and Magnolia Street is expanding, and with it, traffic congestion.
“It does get pretty congested, especially with going over the bridges and going through the stoplights,” said Jason Evangelista, who travels this route nearly every day. “Especially here with the new Rouses and the development over here, it’s definitely added a lot more traffic.”
It can be dangerous.
“It’s almost like every week there’s a wreck down here at the corner of Pass Road and Cowan-Lorraine,” said Handsboro Baptist Church pastor Joey Bennett.
The most recent traffic study by the Gulf Regional Planning Commission indicated that 31,000 cars roll through the Cowan and Pass Road intersection every day, and that was three years ago.
“I like the growth because you want Gulfport to continue its upward trend in the economy,” Bennett added. “But the traffic situation by the new Rouses moving over here and our church has had problems getting out on Sunday mornings for quite a while now. It’s become a very difficult situation. We’ve talked to Gulfport Police Department and city council, and they’re considering some options. I hope.”
In the meantime, retail businesses are taking advantage of the major thoroughfare between Highway 90 and Interstate 10.
“Definitely enjoying the kind of refreshed retail services and stores and shopping in the area,” Evangelista said. “To me, it’s less hectic than on Highway 49, so I choose to kind of shop over here.”
Now, even more commercial areas are being developed, including one in the northeast corner of the section to accommodate the new location for Bin 605.
“It’s what we need and it’s welcomed,” said Paul Purvis, who does a lot of business in the area, and he’s OK with the trade-off for growth.
“You know with progress and growth, there’s a little bit of inconvenience,” Purvis said. “So, getting in and out of traffic, you just have to be patient, be prepared and leave out a little bit earlier.”