Drivers anxiously await Popp's Ferry widening

Published: Jul. 19, 2015 at 5:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2015 at 9:54 AM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's a cause for traffic concern and has been a topic of discussion in Biloxi for some time now. The Popp's Ferry Road widening project is still in the works, and construction has been steadily underway.

Biloxi City Councilman Kenny Glavan has requested an update this week. In the meantime, drivers are getting anxious about the renovations.

"We've been needing this for a long time," said Gary Wilson.

It's the same story with most drivers who travel this stretch of heavily used, two-lane road.

Popp's Ferry is widened on the east and widened on the west, but in between, it's still two lanes. That's where the big changes are coming.

"There's always a problem when you got a two lane, so four lane would be great," said driver Terry Mason.

The $8 million project is expected to not only improve traffic, but drainage and pedestrian access, as well.

Right in the middle of what will eventually be a wider and easier to navigate Popp's Ferry sits First Baptist Biloxi. That's where Sundays see some congestion, but drivers say it's the work week that brings the biggest headache.

"It's backed up a lot of times," said Mason.

That's because dozens of businesses and residents line the two lane stretch. Even though Mason looks forward to the end product, he expects some hassles during the construction.

"It will alleviate the traffic problem, but while they're working on it it'll create a big mess," he said.

According to the city, that won't be an issue. First Baptist member Liz Metcalf says it's all about keeping the finished road in mind.

"I can hardly wait for them to get through because it's going to alleviate a lot of traffic. A lot of automobile accidents," said Metcalf.

Like the close call she and her husband once had while driving through the area. An oncoming car was headed straight for them.

"He just was in the wrong lane, and luckily we were able to get into the ditch there. Had it have been double, you know, widened already, that probably would not have happened," said Metcalf.

The 18-month construction contract began in March. Glavan is expecting an update this week.

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