MDOT begins safety upgrades on Highway 12

A sign marks the start of road work along the Highway 12 corridor in Starkville (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Road work along the Highway 12 corridor began on Monday, with MDOT beginning the first phase of a project aimed at improving safety within the city limits on the area’s busiest state highway.

The new project will feature a raised median, which has been shown to substantially reduce the potential for right-angle crashes, in addition to new traffic light technology.

The Starkville Police Department said the first phase will impact the area between Old Highway 12 and Eckford Drive.

Studies utilized by MDOT show that a raised median can reduce accidents by 40 percent in urban areas and 60 percent in rural areas. MDOT also says raised medians can reduce pedestrian crashes by 45 percent

MDOT has implemented similar projects along the Highway 49 corridors in Gulfport and Hattiesburg.

Work on phase one in Starkville is expected to last until Nov. 8, 2017.

Northern district Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert told the SDN last week to expect slightly slower travel times along the corridor, while the flow of traffic should see vast improvements.