When will highway see the work promised

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tuesday night some bad news was shared with Picayune’s City Council, it will be at least another year before we see any work take place to widen Highway 11.

City officials provided that news after holding a meeting with representatives of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

This has been a recurring theme since I moved to this area back in 1993.  I still recall the white sign along the highway with all of the years crossed out indicating a long-standing string of broken promises.

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Admittedly, back then there were slightly less people and subsequently less cars, so adding more lanes to the most heavily traveled road in town was not as necessary.

But our population has increased.

Some of that added traffic involves transplants from the post Katrina influx.

Those of us who rode out the storm and stayed for the months that followed remember how bad traffic was before a majority of our visitors decided to rebuild their lives back home or elsewhere. But a few of those people stayed.

They saw how beautiful Pearl River County is, and decided to make this town their new home.

As a transplant, I’m glad more people are discovering what this area has to offer.

But with that growth comes growing pains.

The addition of Highland Parkway has been a level of relief. Getting to Interstate 59 from Highway 11 is much easier if you’re in that area as a result.

The problem comes when your destination is the middle of town. With only one sure fire way to get there, traffic still backs up along Highway 11.

So, the news that MDOT pushed the project to widen Highway 11 from the intersection of Lakeshore Drive to Cayten Street was discouraging, but not much of a surprise.

Because after all, we’ve gotten that news every year for the past two plus decades.