HATTIESBURG, MISS. - County officials are pushing for a beltway around Hattiesburg to ease traffic, but city leaders are waving a red flag.
“What we are discussing today is the continuation of 42 from the interstate of 59 and Eatonville Road over to 49, which is where 42 goes into Sumrall,” District two Supervisor for the Board of Supervisors, Charles Marshall said.
Marshall showed a map, which contained different alternative routes that could help relieve traffic from running through the City of Hattiesburg. However, recently some Hattiesburg City Council members raised concerns about the idea, saying routing traffic away from the city could have a negative impact on Hattiesburg’s economy.
“It is a valid concern for them, and valid concern for the Broad of Supervisors,” Marshall admitted. “Because the Broad of Supervisors does not want to do anything that would negatively affect the City of Hattiesburg.”
Marshall explained the benefits and the disadvantages the beltway could bring.
“The pros are you would get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ a whole lot quicker with less traffic,” Marshall explained.
By reducing the amount of traffic, it could help cut down on the number of road delays and accidents in the area. However, the negative impact of the project involves money.
“The negatives are the money that we are going to have to try and find to complete this project,” Marshall explained.
Marshall also stated that they would have to purchase the property needed in order to complete this project. However, some residents may refuse to sell their property.
Currently, this is only a proposed study and the City of Hattiesburg is not against the idea of putting in a beltway around the city, but they do have some concerns they would like to address before moving forward. Those concerns could be addressed at a public meeting on Feb. 15 at 6pm in the Glendale Community Center.