MDOT interchange hearing set for today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; If you want to see and comment on the state’s plans for an interchange at Liberty Road and Seargent S. Prentiss Drive, today’s your chance.

A hearing will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the National Guard Armory on Liberty Road to show the public more alternatives for the interchange.

There, the public will be given brochures and shown renderings of proposed alternatives for the work.

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&uot;We should move pretty quickly&uot; on construction once the hearing is concluded, said Executive Director Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown.

While an exact timeline is not yet available, &uot;our goal is to have the project completed on or before the Trace (extension) is completed,&uot; Brown said.

Without an interchange, extending the Natchez Trace Parkway to Liberty Road will bring in more cars that the current intersection can bear, MDOT officials have said.

Interchange alternatives to be shown at the hearing will include the plan MDOT unveiled at a hearing in October &045; Alternative C, the preferred plan.

That alternative would include four straight ramps, one single intersection and a two-lane, two-way frontage road.

Another alternative to be unveiled today

will be a &uot;modified loop&uot; interchange that MDOT officials have said would have less impact on nearby businesses.

Three alternatives for the interchange were presented at October’s hearing.

4Alternative A, a partial cloverleaf exchange.

4Alternative B, with straight ramps on all four sides of the interchange and a two-lane, two-way frontage road.

4Alternative C, which would take about $9.5 million and four-and-a-half years to finish.

The elimination of businesses in the path of the work &045; 12 in all, under Alternative C &045; was a main concern expressed by citizens after October’s hearing, along with limited access to businesses along the corridor.

The project &045; 80 percent of which will be paid by the federal government, with 20 percent coming from state funds &045; will also widen Liberty Road from two to four lanes.

It will relocate Camellia Drive to align with Wood Avenue, improve the intersections at Wood and Camellia and on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive at Wal-Mart, and reconstruct bridges and reduce access points along Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.