Board changes stop light plans for Green Oak Lane; permanent one approvedBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
plans have changed for the Green Oak Lane intersection, which will connect Reunion Parkway, phase three, within the next few years.
Madison County Board of Supervisors approved District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones’ request to spend more money on a permanent stop light.
Originally, a temporary traffic signal was planned until the intersection connected Reunion Parkway from U.S. Highway 51 to Mississippi Highway 463.
“That intersection is going to be one end of Reunion Parkway,” County Engineer Dan Gaillet said. “But that project is still two to several years out. We’ve had complaints with that intersection, so we’re trying to alleviate problems.”
The current problem with the intersection occurs at peak morning and afternoon hours.
According to Gaillet, traffic on Highway 51 south is backing up because motorists are making the left turn (east) on Green Oak. “There’s a lot of stop-and-go traffic, especially with people heading north coming home from work and school traffic and people trying to get out on (Highway) 51.”
Now, instead of spending approximately $300,000 on temporary fixes only to spend more money for permanent traffic alleviation at the intersection once Reunion phase three is complete, the board has decided to spend an extra $450,000 per request from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).
The project will cost upwards of $750,000 but save the county time and money later.
A permanent stoplight will be installed along with turn lanes both north and southbound on Highway 51 for Green Oak and future Reunion Parkway motorists.
Jones said the money spent on the intersection upgrades will be credited to the county’s obligated match money for the Reunion project, and they won’t have to pay twice for upgrades to the same location.
In total, the county has to match $4.4 million for the Reunion Parkway project.
“If we add this to the pot, go ahead and build it per what we would have to do on the Reunion Parkway, that would be a savings… We spend that money up front, and we have to pay less later,” Gaillet said.
The extra $450,000 will come from two county road projects that were completed under budget, according to County Administrator Shelton Vance.
“We haven’t set a start date yet. We’re still negotiating things with MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Our hope is to get started late this spring or early summer,” Gaillet said.