Mayor's Report - Getwell Road South Widening Project Update

Mayor's Report - Getwell Road South Widening Project Update

This critical transportation-enhancement project has the largest traffic volume of any non-state highway or federal interstate system in Desoto County and rivals some of those as well.  The long history of the planning and funding of this $14-million project may be viewed with the link at the bottom of this post.

To update, this project has progressed very well and will be completely functional sooner than projected in October of this year.  Much of this project will provide benefits sooner than that and especially by the time school starts again.

I want to specifically update everyone as I’ve fielded questions recently about the design.  First, road construction is always inconvenient, so I hope everyone will remember the improvements will be well worth the trouble when it is finished.  The nightmare of congestion was not going away without this work.  We could also laugh to keep from crying, somewhat, at ourselves.  Comedians could certainly have a heyday with the reaction and comments from some Desoto Countians about roundabouts and medians.  Some of you are due for a road trip to see that these are nothing new as they are used successfully around the country and even in other parts of Mississippi.

Very seriously now, listen to me, medians are for safety.  Let me say it again, medians are for safety.  Yes, they do improve the look of the road aesthetically because they can be landscaped, but that is not their primary purpose.  Medians are for safety.  It is a proven fact that medians save lives.  Separating the traffic saves lives.  The traffic calming effect saves lives as drivers statistically slow speeds and pay better attention in the presence of medians.  I think about our teenage drivers when I think about this project.  If you don’t know this already, Getwell was very dangerous before this project.  High-speed rear-end collisions have been frequent as have accidents caused by drivers crossing solid white lines and driving long distances down the center turning lane in other areas where they currently exist.  Medians drastically minimize these risks.  The other myth about medians is that they prevent left turns.  This project is designed with curb cuts and turning lanes for every major side entrance with stacking distances appropriate for traffic.  College and Star Landing intersections will also be widened with proper turning lanes and modern signalization.

As Jimmy told us, “Come Monday, it’ll be alright” or as I’m telling you, “Come October, it’ll be alright”

Original post 02/22/23 Blog • Getwell South Widening Project (