City engineer proposes traffic and road improvements

By: 
Faith Lifer
Staff Writer

City Engineer Edward Kemp presented potential traffic and road improvements for Starkville to the Board of Aldermen at Friday’s work session.

Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver, Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker, Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A'. perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn were absent from Friday's work session.

Perkins said he was unable to attend the session due to "legal obligations" and "legal deadlines."

TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENTS

Last year, Starkville’s Engineering Department worked with Neel Schaffer to run traffic studies of two intersections in Starkville to evaluate their need for three-way or four-way stops.

The city studied both the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Park Road and the intersection of Lynn Lane and the entrance to the Starkville Sportsplex.

Currently, at the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Park Road, there is a two-way stop.

Kemp said the results of the study indicated there was no need for a three-way stop or four-way stop at the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Park Road.

However, the study did indicate the need for a left-turn lane.

“What’s happening now is they’re backing all the way up to McKee park, if not further, based on one or two cars that are trying to turn left,” Kemp said.

Kemp proposed widening Lynn Lane to allow for both a left-turn lane and a right-turn lane onto Industrial park Road.

The right-turn lane would have a yield sign, while the left-turn lane would have a stop sign.

The engineering department also studied the intersection of Lynn Lane and the entrance to the Sportsplex.

“Similarly to Industrial Park, you’ll have one car at the current Sportsplex entrance wanting to turn left, and they can’t get out and it backs cars all the way back,” Kemp said.

In terms of Lynn Lane, Kemp proposed widening Lynn Lane to add a left-turn lane going into the Sportsplex entrance.

Kemp also proposed adding an exit, right-turn lane coming out of the Sportsplex entrance.

Kemp said the engineering department plans to incorporate the Sportsplex parking lot overlay, approved at the August 7 Board of Aldermen meeting, into the proposed Sportsplex intersection project.

Kemp said he believed the Lynn Lane traffic improvement project is a need for Starkville’s community.

“I think it will help traffic flow on the corridor to be much more efficient and safer,” Kemp said. “It’s a very needed project.”

Kemp said the main reason for the project’s need is the recent increase in traffic on Lynn Lane. “The traffic on Lynn Lane has increased, so just recognizing that those two areas were problematic and that there were opportunities to make some improvements.”

If approved, Lynn Lane construction will begin in the fall, and Kemp estimates it will take around three or four months to complete.

The project will also include paving Lynn Lane from Industrial park Road to Louisville Street.

Both intersections are within Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk’s ward, and she is especially passionate about the intersection of Lynn Lane and the Sportsplex entrance.

“This is an intersection that is near and dear to my heart,” Sistrunk said. “It’s in my ward. It’s where I vote. I go to the Sportsplex occasionally, so I see the traffic on a fairly regular basis.”

But Sistrunk is enthusiastic for the improvement of both intersections.

“This is going to be a huge, huge improvement,” Sistrunk said. “I’m very enthused.”

Although, Sistrunk did admit she was surprised the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Park Road didn’t call for a four-way stop due to the traffic she has seen.

Nonetheless, she said she trusts the engineering department and the studies run for the project.

“When traffic backs up, people assume that’s always like that, and it is probably temporary,” Sistrunk said.

ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

Kemp also gave a presentation for a potential project to improve several roadways in the city.

“We have some unimproved roadways of the city, and this program will come in and soil cement the base,” Kemp said, “And then lay the surface on the top.”

Soil cementing the base is a structural stabilization technique for the roadways.

The roads for potential improvement included Roundhouse Road, Treasure Lane, Fannie Dale Road, handpick Road, Henderson Road, a portion of Collier Road and a portion of Cedar Creek Lane.

The engineering department plans for all of the roads and road portions to receive soil cementing and resurfacing except for Collier Road, which will only receive resurfacing.

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