Tight Quarters - 2-way street construction in downtown Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Tight Quarters - 2-way street construction in downtown Jackson

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
It's called a 'renaissance' for Capitol Street, Reverting the main drag from one-way traffic to two way traffic. But it's turned into a headache for business owners and motorists alike.

As the 16-million dollar project progresses slowly, some folks are expressing concern that lanes appear to narrow and describe it as hectic.

"Hectic, yes it is to get a place to park. Capitol street is not like it used to be," said one downtown worker.

That's the opinion of a lot of folks we talked with about the two way project.  Business owners have complained about parking for their customers and downtown workers are complaining about getting across the street with no red lights. And we found JATRAN buses, and large delivery trucks having trouble negotiating roundabouts.

"We are concerned about that because we have a lot of elderly people that come to the federal building," said another downtown worker. "So we are concerned about ambulances, fire trucks because we also have a day care there." 

"You should see fire trucks try to come through there," said another worker. "The ladder trucks almost hit that pole one day. "They are not big enough, the whole section is not big enough for a round about, any of them."

Wednesday we found large vehicles having a difficult time navigating the roundabout at Capitol street and North West.When we asked about this, the city released a statement saying, drivers will temporarily be prohibited from turning left due to the tight squeeze near construction workers. 

Here's part of that statement from spokeswoman Sheila Byrd.

"Beginning this Thursday, Nov. 20, the intersection of Capitol Street and West Street will change from a traffic signal to a roundabout. During construction, the intersection has been controlled by the existing traffic signal. The change from a traffic signal to a roundabout will improve traffic flow of Capitol Street once two-way conversion is completed. Construction is still underway on the roundabout center island and along the north side of Capitol Street on both sides of West Street. Due to the close proximity of construction and construction workers to both sides of the roundabout, trucks on Capitol Street eastbound will be temporarily prohibited from making a left turn onto West Street northbound. Trucks should use an alternate route while the left turn is prohibited. Once construction is complete, trucks will be allowed to make the left turn."

WLBT also asked the city earlier about access for fire trucks downtown Jackson. We were told the fire department is always at the planning table including on this project and the design will not delay fire trucks because the units can drive right over turnabouts if necessary.

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