Bad weather delays three-lane testing of Tupelo's Main Street

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The test has been delayed for the downtown Tupelo Main Street lane changes.
Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, told the group’s board members Tuesday that the cold and rainy weather has delayed the work necessary to tape off lanes for a section of Main Street.
Brangenberg said she does not know when the test will start, considering it is all based on the weather.
The test is required by City Council members before they will vote on the Main Street master plan, which includes synchronizing traffic lights from Green Street to Elizabeth Street, adding bike lanes from Green Street to the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum and restriping Main Street from Green Street to Elizabeth Street to be two lanes with a center turn lane.
RPM Transportation Consultants have been hired to track traffic flow during the test to see if the lane configuration will be more efficient than the current setup.
The test originally was slated to start Feb. 14 and to run for six weeks.
Tupelo Water and Light workers have completed the work necessary on the traffic lights, including adding a left turn signal at Front Street and Main Street.
Public Works employees are waiting for the weather to cooperate before they can apply tape to create temporary lanes.
The workers need five dry days with temperatures of 52 degrees and rising.
The test is the next step in the Main Street master plan, which has been developed to make downtown safer for pedestrians and to make it a destination for shoppers and tourists.
The project is estimated to cost $2.9 million. The state and federal departments of transportation have committed $2.3 million to the project.
The City Council has not approved a specific road plan for Main Street, but members have committed to pay the required match funds of $600,000.
The City Council at its last meeting hired Engineering Solutions Inc. to do the design work for the project.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@journalinc.com.