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franklin county times

Wider is better Road project to relieve school traffic congestion

By Staff
ROAD WORK Driving a box blade tractor, Joe Edwards works with his APAC co-workers to widen an intersection on Highway 19 South near the Southeast Lauderdale schools. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 28, 2001
A Highway 19 South intersection near the Southeast Lauderdale schools is being expanded from two to five lanes.
Mississippi Department of Transportation project engineer Dana Cleveland said the work at the intersection of Highway 19 South, Old Highway 19 Southeast and Long Creek Road is part of a larger $4.3 million project. It began in March 2000 and is scheduled to be complete in October.
Throughout the school year, a Lauderdale County patrolman directs traffic at the intersection during bus arrivals and departures. District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said he will continue to do so after the intersection is widened.
He said Mississippi legislators in their last regular session passed a bill allowing MDOT to put a traffic signal there, but no signal has been installed.
MDOT officials contracted T.L. Wallace Construction Company of Columbia for the Highway 19 South project. Wallace subcontracted APAC.
Drivers are able to use one lane during construction so the roads are not closed. Bill Kelly, foreman for T.L. Wallace Construction, said the first level of asphalt could be down as early as today.
Ken Wallace, district construction engineer for MDOT, said there are plans to extend the four-lane highway from Highway 496 to the Mississippi-Alabama state line in 2012, but the project is not yet funded.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.