LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - People who travel some of the most highly-trafficked roads in Lamar County will soon see some relief.
The county is moving forward with several road projects to improve traffic flow, making room for economic growth.
"With the announcement of Regions Mortgage Center on Lamar Boulevard, the Hegwood project and Lincoln Road project is going to be huge for us," Lamar County District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle said.
Hegwood Road from U.S. 98 to Lincoln Road will be widened, and a red light will be placed at that intersection, and Lincoln Road to Lamar Blvd. will be as well, all for roughly $2.8 million.
"That again is a very heavily traveled area, it's kind of become an east - west route to Lamar County," Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said.
Another one of the projects if the expansion of Old Highway 11 from the city limits of Hattiesburg.
"There's a lot of school traffic, there's a lot of new businesses coming in around there, the library is in there, the tax office, there's a lot going on in that part of Oak Grove, and just make those streets safer, easier to operate, easier to navigate," Waits said.
The project, which is set to cost roughly $3 million, will widen the road all the way past the middle school, past Old Highway 24 and have more improvements all the way to Richburg Road.
The projects are combinations of state, local and federal money, according to Watis, but he said something has to be done with the growth and traffic.
"It's a bottleneck, right now you coming out of Hattiesburg on Lincoln Road and you're riding along on a 3-laned road, and it narrows down into two lanes through that intersection with Oak Grove Road, and then it's a winding country road from there to Hegwood Road, it's just well past its useful life as that type of road," Waits said.
Waits said the county is in the final phases of getting the projects started and the acquisition phase is all that is left.
The county will also look to install a round-about or a traffic light at the Richburg-Weathersby Road intersection, according to Carlisle.
"It says a lot for our community, quality of life, our school system, it says a lot for the people that live here," Carlisle said.