n A redesign is in the works for Oxford’s deadly intersection.
By Errol Castens
Daily Journal Oxford Bureau
OXFORD – This town’s deadliest junction may be that way for a while.
Jackson Avenue tees into the state Highway 6-U.S. Highway 278 bypass in West Oxford, and local officials have long lobbied the Mississippi Department of Transportation for an interchange to make it safer.
“Off the bat, I can remember 10 deaths there,” said Lonnie Weaver, who has been Lafayette County’s coroner for 19 years.
The intersection joins two of Oxford’s busiest arteries.
“Combine that with the high rate of speed on Highway 6,” said Bart Robinson, assistant engineer for the city of Oxford. “Then, when you’re eastbound on Highway 6, you have a short sight distance.”
Any redesign will have to consider the junction of West Oxford Loop into Jackson Avenue, which is slated to get a traffic light of its own.
Dreher Harris, assistant district engineer for MDOT’s Batesville office, said the project is promising, but not imminent. A Jackson firm is working on a design that would channel Jackson Avenue under Highway 6 and connect the two by entrance and exit ramps. Once the design work is complete, land purchase could begin “probably early next year,” Harris said.
Even then, it will be subject to the financial limitations that have caused past delays.
“It was not on the list for any economic recovery money. It’ll have to be built through MDOT’s normal funding process,” Robinson said.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.