By JB Clark
TUPELO – After a weekend of detours and one day of weather delays, the renovations at Tupelo’s Crosstown intersection are complete.
Public Works Director Chuck Williams said everything went smoothly Tuesday morning, and they were able to open the intersection, which was closed to through traffic beginning Saturday, just after 11 a.m.
“The railroad, MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation), Tupelo Water and Light and the Tupelo Police Department all did their part, and it came together,” Williams said. “(Traffic) was backed up a little, but you’re putting 10 lanes of traffic on two lanes of road, and that went as smoothly as it possibly could with the help of Water and Light and the police.”
BNSF Railway workers replaced tracks, rails and most of the other railroad components of the intersection over the weekend, and Tupelo’s public works department tied it all back to the road Tuesday morning.
The intersection was planned to be open Monday, but rain delayed the public works department from completing the project until Tuesday.
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said city officials heard minimal complaints from the detours and traffic delays during the renovation.
“It’s just been overwhelmingly positive,” Shelton said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people were very understanding and very patient and glad to see the improvements being complete.”
Shelton said the positive response was a relief on a weekend when the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau estimated 6,500 out-of-town guests visited Tupelo for the Color Vibe 5k, NOleput festival, the circus, Daily Journal Relays and other sporting events.
Tupelo’s public works department finished the work of laying asphalt just in time, as rain began falling again around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.