County hires engineering firm to study intersectionsBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
Madison County is hiring Neel-Schaffer engineering for yet another road study. This time, however, the study will focus on certain intersections located throughout Madison County.
“In our efforts to keep traffic moving through the county, we’ve got several intersections that we just keep getting asked about,” County Engineer Dan Gaillet said. “What we’d like to do is go ahead and do a study to figure out what we’ve got.”
The studied intersections will be Church Road/U.S. Highway 51, East Sowell Road/U.S. Highway 51, Twin Cedars Drive/U.S. Highway 51., King Ranch Road/Mississippi Highway 22, and Robinson Springs Road/Mississippi Highway 463.
Gaillet said the study will give “very preliminary geometrics” to the county and help officials calculate the cost of improving those intersections.
“We’re asking Neel-Schaffer be hired at a cost of $16,500,” Gaillet said.
The board of supervisors approved Gaillet’s request.
Last month, the county hired Neel-Schaffer to complete a micro study of Gluckstadt Road. The study should tell officials what can be done to alleviate traffic on the major south Madison County thoroughfare.
“We’re taking a hard look at it,” Gaillet previously told the Sun. “The study is a micro-view that will look for opportunities to make more improvements to push traffic down Gluckstadt.”
Last year, however, Neel-Schaffer engineers conducted a transportation study on the six-mile road, along with others in south Madison County, including Bozeman Road, Highway 463, Highway 51, Yandell Road, Reunion Parkway phase two and Reunion Parkway phase three.
These roads were under part of the engineering firm’s long-term improvement suggestions.
The Robinson Springs Road and Highway 463 intersection was also included in the 2016 study as one of the short-term improvements.
The entire study cost the county $36,000, and the Gluckstadt Road micro study will cost approximately $8,000.
“Two county intersections, I’ve met with MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) to put turn lanes in,” District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said. “I don’t know why the board’s studying them.”
The two intersections are Highway 463/Livingston and Highway 463/Robinson Springs Road. The 463/Livingston intersection will not be included in the $16,500 Neel-Schaffer intersection study, but it was included in the 2016 study as another short-term improvement along with the 463/Robinson Springs intersection.
“(Neel-Schaffer) might be studying to put traffic lights (at those intersections),” Baxter said. “But MDOT should be starting construction at 463 and Livingston and 463 and Robinson Springs Road in the summer of 2018.”
This is the third time the county has hired Neel-Schaffer to conduct a road or intersection study in the last year.
“I don’t know how Neel-Schaffer got on the agenda,” Baxter said. “It’s fair that we shell the business out to all engineering firms, not just one. Hopefully in the future, some other firms will get a shot at the business too.”