By Alyssa Schnugg
Citizens who are concerned about the safety of the Highway 7/9 split are encouraged to attend an open forum public meeting where plans for a future roundabout will be discussed.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has scheduled the forum from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Oxford Conference Center.
The public is invited to come and go during the meeting hours to view MDOT’s plans and exhibits and speak to MDOT representatives concerning the design, right-of-way acquisition and environmental issues.
In 2015, the widening of Highway 7 was put on hold by MDOT due to a lack of funding, despite having already purchased property for rights-of-way and moving utilities in preparation for the widening project.
Last year, MDOT announced that plans for a higher-speed roundabout were in the early design phase.
“There are a lot of options for motorists coming through that area and it can be difficult for drivers to judge where other drivers are turning, which can lead to someone misjudging and making a bad driving decision,” said MDOT spokesman Jace Ponder said in July. “The roundabout will be designed for trucks so it would be larger than some of the roundabouts you see currently in Oxford.”
The roundabout would be constructed with the goal of eventually having Highway 7 widened, Ponder said.
The project is tentatively set to advertise for bids in 2021.