City of Hattiesburg agrees to help mitigate overpass project noise

Hattiesburg’s railway overpass project should solve a century-long transportation issue, but it won’t happen without noise.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg’s railway overpass project should solve a century-long transportation issue, but it won’t happen without noise.

Earlier this year, the City of Hattiesburg broke ground on a railway overpass project.

“We have started construction on Hall Avenue East, which you can see near the new police-public safety complex,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.

The city hopes to start another phase of the project sometime next year.

“Hall Avenue West, we hope, will begin next year, but there’s a lot of work that you have to do in terms of design and environmental, and this is that step now,” Barker said.

The Hall Avenue West project will affect Martin Luther King Avenue Church.

Ahead of that construction, the city is hoping to add some buffers to prevent both construction noise and traffic noise once the project is complete.

“We are working with (the church) to be able to make some upgrades to the church itself to lessen the sound impact on the inside of the church, and also to make improvements in and around the church that are just going to increase the, you know, quality of life for not only the church members but also the folks that live in and around that area,” said Ann Jones, City of Hattiesburg Chief Administrative Officer.

As part of an agreement with the church, the city said it would add landscaping and other improvements to the area.

“The city will install a heavy vegetative buffer between the overpass and the church property,” Jones said. “We will also install lighting, decorative lighting, eight-foot sidewalk.”

While parts of it may be noisy, Barker said it’s all part of a bigger picture.

“Well, if you think about the residents for over 100 years, they’ve been stopped by trains,” Barker said. “We’ve heard stories about people who have literally died because they couldn’t get medical care. We also try to get ambulances and police protection to neighborhoods that are a quarter mile away, but they’re blocked by either the Canadian National Line or Norfolk Southern Line. And so, that was the impetus for us going after these two big grants.”

He says the city hopes to bid on the Hall Avenue West project by the end of the year.

Copyright 2022 WDAM. All rights reserved.

Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.