Harry Bryan Letter
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Bryan suggests inexpensive fix for Highway 6/35 traffic
For years we have been told that Highway 6/278 will be four-laned from Batesville to Clarksdale.
When I was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, the 1987 highway Act was passed. I cast a “No” vote due to the fact that Highway 6/278 was completely omitted from the master plan, in spite of the fact that traffic count met and exceeded some roads that were to be four-laned.
This highway is the only road that crosses our state from the river to the Alabama line. The 1987 Act called for four lanes at each crossing of the Mississippi River, except Highway 6/278. Justification was made to four lane U.S. 45 and 45 Alternate in spite of the fact that they parallel each other and are located only 12 to 14 miles apart.
Twenty years have passed and nothing has been done about this end of the state except the four lanes constructed to Highway 61. This was done to accommodate the casino traffic.
The traffic count on Batesville streets is much heaver than it was 20 years ago. In order to alleviate some of these problems, I suggest we revamp the intersection of Highway 35 and 6/278 and Pearson Street.
Westbound heavy trucks and local traffic are trying to make a left turn onto Highway 35 South. This causes traffic to back up on the railway overpass. Since many new homes have been constructed on or near Highway 35 South, these residents also face backed up traffic on the overpass.
Why can’t this intersection be changed? Solution(s)?
The southbound Highway 35 traffic can exit to the right from 6/278, pass under the bridge and continue south on Highway 35. Traffic eastbound on 6/278 which needs to go to the downtown area can make a right turn at the Highway 35 and 6/278 intersection, turn left under the railway overpass or right to go south on Highway 35.
No left turns would be permitted by either eastbound or westbound traffic at the intersection of Highway 35 and 6/278 intersection. That is the intersection at the west end of the railway overpass. This will necessitate an overhaul of the intersection to add turn lanes in both the eastbound and westbound lanes for right-turning traffic, a relatively inexpensive solution to detangle traffic flow.
Turn lanes are needed further west at the entrance to the Lehman-Roberts plant on Farrish Gravel Road.
None of this is expensive. Whatever the cost, it is better than having someone lose their life or be seriously injured due to neglect on the part of our governing bodies.
If this subject has already been addressed and solutions are forthcoming, then I apologize for bringing it up. I happen to believe it is easier to prevent a problem than to solve one.
/s/ Harry Bryan