(DeSoto County, MS) In the past 20 years, Goodman Road has become as much parking lot as it is thoroughfare.
But that’s about to change.
Howard Gates does what he can to avoid Goodman Road, even if it means adding a few more miles to his trip.
"The traffic, they need to do something about all the traffic they have here."
It’s so bad, police have even caught bank robbers stuck in traffic here.
DeSoto County leaders are pooling some planning money with the state and cities along Goodman to synchronize the lights on Goodman and Hernando’s Commerce Street.
"It actually watches the vehicles by shadows and counts ‘em and then it gets a program going sizes up the time of day and so now I’m gonna open up lights and let everybody go through several lights,” explained DeSoto County Supervisor Harvey Lee.
The $9.5 million project will provide benefits in addition to smoother traffic.
”What it’s gonna do, is the cars are not gonna sit there and idle so long. That’s gonna help our ozone layer,” said Lee.
That makes the air cleaner, and could help DeSoto get out of the Memphis air quality non-attainment zone.
Howard Gates says it’ll save him a lot of time.
”Oh, it’d probably save from one end to the other, oh, probably 15 to 20 minutes. Pretty good, that’d be great.”
Supervisors say they’ll get started on the project this year, with the goal of having traffic moving along much better this time next year.