Bumper to bumper: First responders plan ahead upcoming railroad project

The two-week closure will leave several commuters searching for alternative routes.
Highway 49 is one of the busiest roads in Harrison Country. With an upcoming road closure, getting to your destination may take a bit longer.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A planned railroad crossing project is set to shut down one of the Coast’s busiest roads for weeks.

First responders are doing what they can to get ready for the closure, making sure they’re able to get to emergencies quickly and safely.

Highway 49 is one of the busiest roads in Harrison Country, and with an upcoming road closure to the area, getting to your destination may take a bit longer.

“Maneuvering around some of the traffic and alternative routes might be a little slower,” said Gulfport Fire Chief Billy Kelley.

That’s not exactly good news for emergency or medical response teams.

Kelley told WLOX his department is mapping detour routes to reach calls in a timely manner.

“We’ve been meeting with our command staff. Our first, second, and third engines to any kind of response are going to be there just as fast. The adjustments we’re going to make, you won’t see. We’re going to be back filling from other stations,” Kelley said.

Bumper to bumper: That’s what Kelley said will be an ongoing issue during the 14-day project.

“Everyday, I think traffic count at 49 and Creosote is 52,000 cars. When you divert that into smaller arteries like Creosote Road and 605, it’s going to create a traffic jam. We just ask if you hear sirens or see sirens to pull over and be patient, and let us get by. It could be someone on the other end of the call that needs us,” Kelley said.

In the meantime, he encourages citizens to start planning alternative travel routes now.

“We’re just asking people to be patient and we’ll get through this two weeks,” Kelley said.

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