Lafayette road projects move into design stage

OXFORD – Long-anticipated highway projects involving two of Lafayette County’s most dangerous intersections have entered their design phases, the Mississippi Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.
An environmental study has been completed on an effort to four-lane Miss. Highway 7 from just south of Miss. Highway 6 to its intersection with Miss. Highway 9W.
The project plans also include changing the current junction 7/9W intersection into an interchange with an overpass. The intersection is a bottleneck for northbound traffic on Highway 7 during morning rush hour, where cars must stop and turn left across traffic, and several fatal accidents have occurred there as well.
Design is expected to take about one year. Full funding has not been secured for right-of-way acquisition and construction.
MDOT officials also said Wednesday that the department is working “aggressively” to design an interchange for Oxford’s dangerous and congested western entry at Highway 6 and Jackson Avenue.
“This is a complicated location requiring a very detailed evaluation and analysis, so the timelines for completion are more difficult to determine,” the department stated in a press release.
MDOT also is working with city officials on several other projects, including a contract for construction of 13 miles of bike lanes and overlay of state-city thoroughfares such as Jackson Avenue and University Avenue.
Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson said MDOT might have another item on its priority list. Highway officials want to discuss with Patterson and City Engineer Bart Robinson the roundabouts on Old Taylor Road.
“We thought the roundabouts were absolutely dead, for this year especially, but we’re going to talk with them Friday,” he said.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio