Projects will allow city to put best foot forward

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 12, 2007

It has taken much time, but the efforts of city, county andchamber officials have finally paid off and it appears the exit 40interchange on Interstate 55 will be lighted in the nearfuture.

City and county officials have received the necessarydocumentation and agreements to set the project in motion. Theagreement calls for the Mississippi Department of Transportation tohandle the cost of the construction and installation of the lightsprovided the city and county handle the maintenance and upkeepcosts.

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen approved the agreement Tuesdaynight pending approval by the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.The next scheduled meeting of the county board is Nov. 19.

Another project that has been a number of years in the making willalso soon become a reality.

Chamber officials announced Monday during the monthly IndustrialDevelopment Foundation meeting that installation will begin on asignage project at the entrance of Brookway Boulevard. The signswill welcome visitors to our community and, of course, will becomplemented by the interstate lighting project.

Twenty-two years ago, visitors coming off the Interstate weregreeted by a wide boulevard with medians and landscaping – anaesthetically appealing entrance to our city that set us apart fromother communities along I-55.

As part of a misguided effort in 1985 to relieve traffic congestionon the boulevard, the medians were bulldozed, azalea bushes thatlined the medians were unceremoniously hauled to the city dump andasphalt replaced the grass.

One might say a beautiful front door that welcomed visitors wasreplaced by a sheet of asphalt plywood!

In 1992, an effort was undertaken to bolster the entrance whennumerous trees were planted at Exit 40. Unfortunately, those treesfell victim to a misguided bush hog and a replanting wasrequired.

A few years later, a master plan was drawn for the entrance to thecity. The plan involved the landscaping of the trees that now linethe boulevard.

The signage that will be installed is part of that project.

It has taken almost 22 years to repair the damage done back in 1985and the completion of these projects will again allow thiscommunity to put its best foot forward.

Maybe, just maybe, one day we can put those medians back in placeand replace some of the asphalt with green grass, trees and lushlandscaping. Then visitors can better understand why we call ourcommunity the Homeseekers Paradise.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602, or sende-mail to bjacobs@dailyleader.com.