Board hires engineer for road study

PASCAGOULA

Jackson County hired an engineering firm to design roads for better traffic flow around the new Ocean Springs High School, expected to be complete in the fall of next year.

The Board of Supervisors hired Neel-Shaffer on Monday to engineer extra lanes and look at some drainage the school is expected to need. The company had handled a traffic study of the area and presented its recommendations at the Monday board meeting.

Designing the work will cost the county $100,000. Having the design built will cost closer to $1 million, Neel-Shaffer’s Brian Fulton told supervisors. That figure includes a traffic light at the intersection of Mississippi 57 and Old Spanish Trail. The school will be built in the southeast corner of that intersection.

Fulton said the school is designed to hold 2,200 students, “so it’s a pretty major generator or traffic.”

Supervisors decided to get started quickly, even though the area likely will be annexed by Ocean Springs within a year or two.

Supervisor John McKay offered to go to Ocean Springs and the city school district for help with funding the study.

Jackson County is already extending Mississippi 57 south from Old Spanish Trail to along the west side of the school property.

Neel-Shaffer said the following needs to be done:

n Widen Mississippi 57 to three lanes from Old Spanish Trail to north of the CSX railroad crossing.

n Install a left turn lane for westbound traffic on Old Spanish Trail from about a block before the intersection with Mississippi 57 to Hamill Farm Road.

n Make the Mississippi 57 extension three lanes, with a middle turn lane, until just south of the school. This would add a right turn lane for northbound traffic turning into the school. South of the school, the Mississippi 57 extension would go to two lanes.

n Provide side walks around the school — on the south side of Old Spanish Trail, the east side of the Mississippi 57 extension and the east side of Mississippi 57.

n Build an eastbound turn lane on Old Spanish Trail at the eastern entrance to the school grounds.

n Modify traffic control to a one-way stop at Hamill Farm Road, keep the all-way stop at Fontainebleau and Hamill Farm roads and provide a one-way stop on Fontainebleau Road at the Mississippi 57 extension south of the school.

By KAREN NELSON – klnelson@sunherald.com
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