By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – No, South Gloster Street won’t become a three-lane thoroughfare like downtown Main Street.
But a portion of the busy north-south corridor did lose one of its four lanes this week as part of a long-anticipated widening project. Eventually, the street will sport five lanes and a fresh coat of asphalt.
Until then, motorists must navigate an estimated 10 months of construction from Cliff Gookin Boulevard to South Green Street near the city limits. The work is scheduled to begin Monday.
“We went ahead and made the road three lanes so people can get used to driving on it before road work starts Monday,” said Major Thoroughfare Program Project Manager Philip Harbor. “We want to make sure motorists know what to expect.”
The Major Thoroughfare Program is a taxpayer-funded initiative that builds and improves the city’s most heavily traveled roads. It’s approved and funded in five-year phases. The South Gloster widening is the first project in its new, five-year phase.
Other upcoming projects include the widening of East Main Street and South Thomas Street, and the addition of right-hand turn lanes along North Gloster Street.
During the first phase of the South Gloster project, all the work will be pushed to the east side of the road, leaving the westbound lane open to traffic, according to Harbor. Once that side is completed, work on the westbound lanes will start.
After the section of road between South Green and Cliff Gookin is done, work on the area between Garfield Street and Cliff Gookin will begin.
The contract for the entire project is expected to take 550 days, according to Harbor.
APAC of Mississippi has the contract.
Daily Journal reporter Emily Le Coz contributed to this story.
Original cost estimate – $4.3 million
Actual cost – $6.5 million
State and federal dollars allocated to the
project – $2.2 million
Construction duration – 550 days