U.S. Highway 51 is getting a long awaited make-over, according to officials with the Waggoner Engineering firm, headquartered in Hernando.
The $1.4 million Local Public Agency Project, administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation by way of the Mississippi Department of Transportation will include two turning lanes at U.S. Highway 51 at Robinson Street along with a fully functional traffic light, in addition to full signalization of the traffic light at U.S. Hwy. 51 and Pleasant Hill Road in Nesbit.
Lane improvements are also planned at Pleasant Hill Road and U.S. Highway 51 in Nesbit.
Collins Simpson with Waggoner Engineering said the turning lanes at Robinson and 51 will help ease traffic flow.
Tracy Huffman, project engineer with Waggoner Engineering, said the funds for the project are designated through the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization.
"It's 100 percent federal funded since it's for traffic relief," Huffman said.
"We'll have turning lanes in every direction at Pleasant Hill Road and U.S. 51," Huffman said. "We're doing an additional lane in the right, east-bound lane to Interstate 55 to relieve morning traffic. We're also extending the left, west-bound turn lane for people coming home."
Hernando Mayor Tom Ferguson said plans are also proceeding with the planned McIngvale Road Extended project which will connect Commerce Street with a new connector road to Interstate 269.
"We're ahead of schedule," Ferguson said Monday. "We got the preliminary engineering funds to get the engineering done back in November."
Once completed, the approximately $10 million total McIngvale Road Exit and McIngvale Road Extended is expected to become the DeSoto County seat's major entrance corridor off Interstate 269.
Ferguson said he fully expects funding to be in place soon for the project's initial construction.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.