Second road coming to Vidalia Municipal Complex

Published 12:12am Sunday, August 18, 2013

VIDALIA — Motorists may soon have an easier time entering and exiting the Vidalia Municipal Complex.

The Vidalia Board of Aldermen awarded bids on a right turn lane at the complex’s entrance and an access road during its Tuesday meeting.

The access road will begin in front of the tennis courts, near City Hall, and cost $321,576.00. The bid was awarded to Camo Construction.

Currently, the complex only has one entrance and exit.

Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Hoffpauir said the single road causes traffic problems during baseball and softball games.

“We do have quite a bit of traffic here, probably 400 people during some of our bigger games,” Hoffpauir said. “We have been talking about adding another road since the beginning of the complex. I think it is definitely going to help ease traffic problems.”

Mayor Hyram Copeland said the additional road would also help during emergencies.

“If there is a traffic accident blocking the road, the additional road will provide a way for those people to exit,” Copeland said. “We have also seen an increased amount of traffic. Any traffic going west can leave easier by taking the new access road.”

The turning lane, awarded to W.E. Blain and Sons, is estimated to cost $337,108.50.

Street Department Director Lee Staggs said the turning lane would make entering the municipal complex easier for motorists traveling west on U.S. 84.

Neither contract is official until they are signed by the mayor, but Copeland said construction should begin by Aug. 30. He said construction should be complete within 90 days of construction’s start.

The city is also exploring the possibility of placing a stoplight in front of the municipal complex.

Copeland said the Louisiana Department of Transportation is currently conducting a feasibility study on placing a stoplight at the complex’s current access road.

“The amount of traffic that comes in and out of the complex deserves a light,” he said. “A life is in danger every second that the stop light is delayed.”

Concerns about the proximity of another stoplight, at the intersection of Louisiana 3180 and U.S. 84, may prevent the new light from being installed.

“There is a good bit of heavy traffic coming from the Fruit of the Loom factory and the truck stop,” he said. “That could cause a problem, but hopefully we can get the light installed.”