Editorials

We hope road work under way in South Mississippi is just start

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD/FILEIn 2009, the addition of a third lane on Interstate 10 between Interstate 110 and Exit 50 in Ocean Springs caused traffic delays. MDOT has announced that the stretch of road between Ocean Springs Exit 50 and Vancleave-Gautier Exit 57 will be widened to six lanes in a two-year construction project.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD/FILEIn 2009, the addition of a third lane on Interstate 10 between Interstate 110 and Exit 50 in Ocean Springs caused traffic delays. MDOT has announced that the stretch of road between Ocean Springs Exit 50 and Vancleave-Gautier Exit 57 will be widened to six lanes in a two-year construction project. SUN HERALD

Interstate 10 carries an incredible amount of traffic each day. There are vacationers, commuters and semis moving freight.

The road takes a pounding and it shows. It's congested at times and that congestion is not conducive to safety.

That's why we are glad to see work underway that could take some of the pressure off the much-traveled interstate.

MDOT is resurfacing eight miles of interstate in Harrison County and widening about seven miles in Jackson County. Both projects are needed.

I-10 is six lanes through much of Harrison County but narrows to four just inside the Jackson County line and there the traffic problems intensify. The widening should alleviate the slowdowns and crashes that bedevil drivers.

But as the interstate is widened from the Ocean Springs exit (Exit 50) to the Vancleave exit (Exit 57), drivers will have some challenges at night.

MDOT plans to close lanes only between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. when traffic is lighter.

Drivers can do their part by staying alert in the construction zones and driving the speed limits.

Law enforcement officers will be around to hand out not-so-friendly reminders to drivers who put those workers at risk by speeding.

Finally, we hope Jackson County follows through on its promises to improve the roads that bring 3,000 students to three schools in St. Martin. School officials had wanted the county to put a moratorium on home-building in the area until the narrow access roads were widened, something that's been promised for 15 years. Supervisors said the schools have their attention. They've committed $5 million to put an intersection at Old Fort Bayou and Yellow Jacket roads, straighten a couple of curves and create an alternate route to the schools. Improvements to the intersection of Old Fort Bayou and Mississippi 609 (Washington Avenue) are in the planning stages.

These projects barely scratch the surfaces of the Coast's transportation needs but we welcome any improvements to our roadways.

This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board.

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