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Boulevard paving project under way

The Brookway Boulevard overlay project has begun, and whilethere will be some traffic issues in the next few months, cityofficials said the end result will be worth it all.

Brookhaven Public Works Director Steve Moreton said the work shouldbe finished by April 19, weather permitting. But first there couldbe some traffic issues, he said.

“It’s going to be inconvenient for a few months, but we hope theend product will be very pleasing to everyone that travels BrookwayBoulevard,” he said.

Moreton said the project stretches from the Brookway Boulevard andHighway 51 intersection almost to Interstate 55 Exit 40.

The project, which will run around $700,000 is a MississippiDepartment of Transportation job, Moreton said. It is being fundedby around $354,000 of U.S. Department of Transportation stimulusmoney issued to the city for MDOT projects, and the rest will befunded through Surface Transportation Program funds. It includesBrookway Boulevard and some of the side roads as well.

Moreton said the boulevard will be milled and then the overlay willbegin. Once that is done, workers will put down new striping, andthe last step will be to put in new loops on the stoplights.

The current stoplights on Brookway Boulevard are set on timers, sothere is no reaction to the actual traffic that is on the road,Moreton said. The new lights will have sensors that will leave thelights green if there is no waiting traffic on sidestreets.

“The loops now, the majority are broken, and because they’re brokenit’s in a cycle,” Moreton said. “It’ll turn the arrow on whenthere’s nobody there, and just goes through the cycle.”

In the meantime, Moreton stressed the need for motorists to berespectful of workers on the road.

“I’m asking the public to be very cautious and understanding aroundthose workers out there; they have a job to do,” he said. “It’shard when they’re trying to do their job and having to watch forsomeone driving through and being reckless. Motorists need to bepaying attention to those people working.”

So far with the project under way since March 1, Moreton said itseems like some people haven’t noticed the workers and have driventhrough like there weren’t people on the road.

“When you see a flagman or someone in a vest, it could be me or oneof your kinfolks or anyone, so slow down,” he said. “We were outthere and some people wouldn’t even slow down or move over. Whenyou can move over in the lane, do that instead of brushing upagainst them.”

Moreton said it’s easy to tell where the construction is. Just lookfor the big orange and white barrels and the workers withreflective vests.

“Those barrels are there for a reason,” he said. “If someone has asign that says ‘stop’ and you need to go to the bank, you just needto hang on for a second. I know it’s going to be an inconveniencefor some folks, but when all the barrels are removed, there will benew stripes, new reflectors and new lights.”