By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The South Gloster Street widening project must top the project list for Phase 5 of the Major Thoroughfare Program or Ward 3 Councilman Jim Newell said he’ll oppose it.
“And I’ll tell my constituents not to vote for it, too,” Newell said.
Two weeks ago, the Major Thoroughfare Committee warned the South Gloster widening could be delayed because of cost overruns on a five-lane bridge over the Natchez Trace Parkway, part of Phase 4 of the program.
The South Gloster widening would cover the street from Garfield Street to the point where state Highway 6 will connect with South Gloster.
The South Gloster Business Association, a group of businesses and residents along the corridor, had been expecting the widening to happen sooner rather than later.
But the committee said the $2 million originally set aside for the widening would be eaten up by the bridge work, which is part of the five-lane northern loop connecting west Tupelo to the Barnes Crossing district.
Newell, whose ward includes South Gloster and who helped reform the area’s business association last year, said the group was “all pretty upset about it.”
“From my understanding, this South Gloster widening was approved back in 1993, and here it is 2011 and it’s still on hold as a priority,” he said. “All I’ve been hearing is, ‘Here we go again.’”
Rudy Dossett Jr., who owns the Dossett Big 4 automobile dealership and is a member of the group, is unhappy with the delay.
“I don’t have an agenda, I’m not speaking for anybody else,” he said. “I’ve got five lanes in front of my business. But what’s happening to the rest of South Gloster isn’t right. Once again, certain areas of this city are favored and certain areas are neglected, bypassed and overlooked.”
The SGBA will have a meeting Jan. 28 at Gloster Creek Village starting at 8:30 a.m., and Newell said the Major Thoroughfare Project will be discussed.
“It’s going to be on the agenda, most definitely,” he said.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.