Drew leaders study roads
by Rory Doyle
Apr 05, 2013 | 2336 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drew continues to lobby for help in its effort to erect a four-way stop at the intersection of Miss. Highway 49 and Bridge Street.

Alderman Lacy Wilson presented letters of support from local and state leaders at Tuesday's city board meeting.

"The four-way stop is something we really need at this intersection," Wilson said. "It's a very serious problem."

Wilson said he has witnessed too many close calls at the spot, especially since the intersection is the only access point for children attending Hunter Middle School, just east of the problem area.

"The Sunflower County Board of Supervisors fully approves and supports this request and respectfully asks you to do all in your power to assist in establishment of a four-way stop at this intersection," wrote supervisor's Presidents Glenn Donald in his letter to central district Commissioner Dick Hall with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Sen. Willie Simmons and Rep. Robert L. Huddleston also back the campaign.

"The city of Drew has provided crossing guards and attempted to make the intersection as safe as possible, but we continue to have incidents which frighten us and are afraid that if no traffic control device is placed at this intersection, we are certain to eventually have a terrible accident," wrote Simmons in his letter to Hall. "(This) is something we all certainly want to avoid in any way possible.

"We are confident that if it would help, we can provide appropriate resolutions from the county and city, since everyone involved here is in agreement that this is a dangerous situation which requires some action to protect our children."

Drew Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick said he's proud of the effort Wilson has put into the issue and expects the four-way to be complete once MDOT surveys the site.

"I most definitely tip my hat to Alderman Wilson," said Kilpatrick. "He's worked very hard to make sure we do something before someone gets killed."

Kilpatrick said a motorcycle accident that occurred there about two months ago was likely preventable had the stop signs been up.

"It's a high traffic area," he added. "Not only are kids going to school but people use Highway 49 to get to Parchman and bring the high school kids to Ruleville."

In other Drew street news, Wilson and Kilpatrick were proud to announce the state recently approved $1.6 in funding to reconstruct and repave Park Avenue, one of the most worn down streets in the city.

The money will be used to redo 0.8 miles west of Highway 49, badly impacted through the years by large trucks utilizing it to head west into Bolivar County.

"It's big news — Park Avenue is something the city has been trying to fix for years," said Sunflower County Engineer Ron Cassada. "This money is coming from an appropriation bill through the Mississippi Department of Transportation."

Kilpatrick said an official announcement came from the state Thursday, and once the funding comes through on July 1, advertising for the work can begin.

"We're ready and hoping to get started as soon as we can," said Kilpatrick. "I've got to give a special thanks to Sen. Simmons and Ron Cassada for making this happen."