Moss Point shops not happy with median's effects on their business

csteube@sunherald.comJuly 10, 2014 

MOSS POINT -- The median along Main Street is nearing completion, but some business owners still aren't happy.

In May, GT Development and Contracting began building three turning lanes in the median along Main Street, which is also Mississippi 613, for better access to businesses. The turning lanes are in front of the Hancock Bank branch, Sonic restaurant and the former Beacon Car Wash. The medians had been installed as part of a beautification project in 2010, but left some businesses difficult to access.

Ward 5 Alderman Linwood Grierson said the intent of the medians was to slow traffic, but they never should have been built and the project was a waste of money.

He added businesses on both sides of the street were overlooked and as a result, Beacon Car Wash went out of business.

In the planning stages of the current project, he said, the board was never shown plans, only told the medians would be cut in three locations.

"I take responsibility for assuming that access would be given to all businesses," he said.

John Peters, owner of Performance Autos across from Beacon Car Wash, said his business has been dramatically hurt since 2010 when the median was put in.

"It's an absolute disaster," Peters said. "This is not getting anything done. It's going backwards."

Peters wants to see additional turning lanes put in, which he believes wouldn't cost much money or time. "I have to make a living here and the city seems like it doesn't care."

Peters said he has tried to voice his concerns to Mayor Billy Broomfield a number of times both in person and by phone, but has been unsuccessful.

Sonic manager Steven Ely said his restaurant lost business as well. He had to create a makeshift gravel road at the back of the property just to give customers a way out.

Although he's glad to now have some access, he doesn't think a one-way turning lane is the answer.

"I don't see why they didn't make a way you could turn both ways," Ely said, noting northbound customers will still need to make a U-turn. "It only solved half the problem."

Construction is expected to be complete on the $121,000 project by the end of August. The funding came from economic development grants.

Efforts to contact Broomfield about the medians were unsuccessful before press time.

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