Highland Parkway, Richardson Ozona Road open
Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2017
City and county officials gathered with community members at Highland Parkway Friday morning to celebrate the opening of Picayune’s newest major road, said to open up access to hundreds of acres of land that is prime for development.
Friday morning the group gathered at the road in front of Highland Community Hospital to pose for pictures and share their ideas of what the area could become with future investment.
“We’re excited to get this road open,” said Mayor Ed Pinero. “It’s going to significantly help reduce traffic at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 43.”
Pearl River County Board of Supervisors President Sandy Kane Smith said now that the project is complete, it has taken seven to eight years of work off the Board’s shoulders. Supervisor Malcolm Perry said he was glad all of the entities involved, which include the city of Picayune, Board of Supervisors and the developer, were able to work together to complete the road.
The event came about a week after the road unofficially opened to the public. County Engineer Les Dungan said the Richardson Ozona Road Relocation project is also nearly complete. That road is also open for traffic. He said the project should be complete by next week when the tie-in with Hayden Oaks Road is complete.
Currently, the section of Richardson Ozona Road in between Coast Electric’s office and the company’s staging area is closed, and will remain that way indefinitely.
Richardson Ozona Road now meets Highway 11 directly across from Highland Parkway, forming a four way stop with a traffic light.
Drivers will now have to become accustomed to the changes in traffic within that area.
“I think once people get used to it, in the long run it will be better,” Dungan said.
County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said good roads are the backbone of any area’s infrastructure, and now some of the best roads in the county can be found in that area. He estimates that Highland Parkway provides access to about 200 acres ready for development. City Manager Jim Luke said the city has already received inquiries from interested parties, but could not elaborate. He did say they were from representatives with commercial interests.
The next step for Highland Parkway will be to finish sodding the sides of the road and do some ditch work. Long term, the city is looking for funding to install streetlights along Highland Parkway. City Engineer Brooks Wallace said the light poles will be similar to those installed along Sycamore Road.
Luke said finding funding for the lighting is the city’s number one priority now.
Construction of the road cost about $600,000, of which the city, county and developer paid portions, Luke said.