Hwy. 98 intersection causes frustration to some

Hwy. 98 intersection causes frustration to some

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A newly barricaded intersection on Highway 98 in Lamar County has some people who frequent the area concerned with safety as well as convenience.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation placed delineators at the intersection on Hwy. 98 at Barracuda near the Woodstone subdivision and shopping area. This change came three months after a local anesthesiologist was killed there in a motorcycle accident. MDOT engineer Cape Jones said, while that accident did contribute to the barricade, the department had been studying the corridor for several years.

"We know whenever we put up traffic delineators in a location that it changes the traffic patterns," Jones said.

Several residents are concerned with the traffic that is now using the intersections due east and west of the Barracuda intersection to make U-turns.

"To me, that's far more dangerous than crossing over," Woodstone Market property manager Gibson Smith said.

Hattiesburg city engineer Lamar Rutland said U-turns are permitted in certain areas, and MDOT placed a sign at the previously mentioned locations when the delineators were placed at that intersection in early January.

Smith, along with several others interviewed, said a stop light or caution signal would better serve the intersection, but Jones said the corridor "does not meet the warrants" for a signal, according to the Manual Uniform Traffic Control Policy.

Attempts to reach officials at MDOT headquarters were unsuccessful to learn what warrants a traffic signal.

Jones said MDOT will continue to monitor the corridor to decide what the best solution is for that intersection.