TIMELINE FOR HOY ROAD PROJECT PREDICTEDBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Work on Hoy Road is underway, and a rough timeline has been set for the project.
“This has been a project that’s been a long time coming, and for most, it can’t get done fast enough I’m sure,” said Keith O’Keefe, the Central Mississippi Manager for Neel-Schaffer, which is overseeing the project.
O’Keefe said the project will include a five-lane section from the end of Old Canton Road. The five-lane section will extend to Victoria Place, where it will drop down to two lanes from there to Rice Road, according to O’Keefe.
The intersection at Rice Road will also be reconstructed to allow for better traffic flow at peak hours.
A crew is currently working to relocate utilities along the road, which O’Keefe said is the real driver behind the project schedule right now. He expects this to go on into the fall.
At that time, they will seek authorization from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to advertise the project for bids.
Construction is expected to begin either late this year or the beginning of 2020. The project will take 18 months to complete.
The project is projected to be complete by summer 2021.
The road will be closed for 12 months for construction and will be opened for westbound traffic only.
“I know that’s probably not as fast as some of you would like to see because it is has been a long project,” O’Keefe said. “There was a lot of right of way to acquire, and we had to go through an environmental study.”
The project is being funded by a combination of city, county and federal money. O’Keefe said $3.7 million is being split between the city and county, and $7.3 million in federal money.
“I’m very familiar with how traffic backs up. Particularly west bound in the mornings,” O’Keefe said. “The main thing this project needs is a total reconstruction of the intersection at Rice Road.”
O’Keefe said there is a need for the addition of a turn lane and to lengthen turn lanes.
“West bound when you approach Rice Road you will have a right turn lane going onto Tisdale and then you’ll have a left turn lane,” O’Keefe said. “The left turn lane that is out there right now is 150 feet. The new turn lane will be 500 feet.”
He said the additional turn lane and the extra 350 feet of storage in the left turn lane will make a big difference in morning traffic.
A 10-foot wide multiuse trail will also be constructed along the road, with a five-foot sidewalk along a portion of it from the west end from Canton Road to Victoria place.
There will be a five-foot buffer of green space to separate the trail from the road.
When the project is completed, the trail will be a complete loop from Madison Avenue to Hoy Road westbound, to Old Canton Road and back to Madison Avenue.
“This will be an asset to the community,” O’Keefe said.