Construction on Lake Harbour Drive causing major traffic problemsBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
With construction having already begun on East Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland residents and motorists may have experienced traffic delays throughout the first week of April.
Officials said the eastbound lane of Lake Harbour closed from Northpark Mall to Breakers Lane at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 2, but all lanes were expected to open back up by earlier this week.
City officials originally hoped the traffic would stop by Friday, April 6, but the completion date was delayed because of weather.
“We expect significant traffic delays over the next five to seven days, depending on weather,” Mayoral Executive Assistant Lisa Walters said April 2. “Please reduce speed in the construction zone and take alternate routes if possible.”
Public Works Director Mike McCollum said the city’s contract with Dickerson and Bowen continues through August. Work includes traffic signal upgrades, restriping, and other small improvements that should not continue to impede traffic.
“The reason these lanes have to be closed like this is because there is a two to two-and-a-half-inch asphalt lift that we don’t want people hitting,” McCollum said. “The second reason is, when you mill that area, it’s low. If it rains overnight, it holds water like a pond and can create hydroplanes or a dangerous situation like that.”
This week, residents should see striping and signal work being completed.
“By my estimation, they should be completely done with everything in the next 30 days or so,” McCollum said. “Hopefully, traffic shouldn’t be an issue after they get this surface course on.”
THE ENTIRE PROJECT includes a mill, overlay, restriping, curb improvements and upgraded traffic signals on Spillway Road from Breaker’s Lane to Northpark Drive.
“It’s (a little more than) a mile of four lanes with a center turn lane,” McCollum said. “The road’s got heaves and stuff. We’re going to do some leveling. All the striping had actually worn off, and we did some restriping a year ago so people could see it. We’ve also got claims of potholes out there.”
Last month, reservoir residents driving over the Spillway sat in traffic for up to two hours because of work Dickerson and Bowen were trying to complete for the project.
“Initially, we had some problems,” McCollum said. “They were replacing curb, but they got that corrected so it’s not as bad.”
The city has been working with local and social media platforms to get the word out when there is going to be increased traffic.
“We’re going to try to make it as painless as possible, but some of it just can’t be helped. We’ll always maintain one lane of traffic open, so we’ll have two-way traffic all the time.”
The project is a two-part task, with the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) completing the other half.
Work includes rebuilding and resurfacing the portion of the Spillway over the dam and digging out and refilling soft spots. Construction should begin sometime this year and should take between six and eight weeks.