PETAL, MS (WDAM) - It was 10-years in planning and development, but now the Byrd Boulevard Extension in Petal has finally opened. It's about 1.1 miles in length and connects the road that runs from the Evelyn Gandy Parkway beside Wal-Mart to Old Richton Road.
It opens previously unreachable land for commercial and residential development. Searches for the $2 million funding began back in 2004, and was a mix of federal, state and city money.
Hattiesburg resident Matt Thomas said that the new road will save him a little extra time on his drive.
"We love it, going to take some steps out of our day, I'm a resident of Hattiesburg but I come and pick up my mom once a week in Ellisville and we come down and do our shopping in Ellisville," said Thomas.
Mayor of Petal Hal Marx said that he's looking forward to seeing the development the new road has for the area.
"Well I'll probably use this road a lot, I live not far from here and I can come down Old Richton and then take this as a cut through to go to Wal-Mart and those areas to shop," Marx said. "I think a lot of people will too, but it's also going to be great to see it grow as a place for new residential [and] commercial development, and I think it'll be a great asset to our city."
Byrd Boulevard was named after the city's first mayor, Ulmer Byrd.