Southaven mayor provides update on Getwell Road widening project

(Action News 5)
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 5:49 PM CST
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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WMC) - Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite has provided an update to the Getwell Road widening project Wednesday.

This current project would eliminate the “bottleneck” at Church Road by widening Getwell Road from two lanes to five lanes south of Church Road all the way down to Star Landing Road, including a median for improved safety and new signals at College Road and Star Landing Road.

The west side of the road will also be prepped for a future multi-use pedestrian trail as future funding becomes available, the mayor said.

Alleviating congestion on Getwell Road has been an ongoing focus of city leaders for years.

According to Mayor Musselwhite, the city administration has been working on a solution to the expensive problem since 2015, when the city applied for federal transportation funds through the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Agency.

Musselwhite listed limited funding and inflation as some reasons that the project has stretched longer than first anticipated.

“We jumped many hurdles along the way, as metropolitan jurisdictions must share limited funding for this program. When it was finally ‘our turn,’ we complied with MDOT processes as they are charged with managing federal transportation funds,” he said. “Then, you start the right-of-way purchase for the land needed to widen the road, which takes on a life of its own with family trusts, absentee owners, and interesting personalities.”

According to the mayor, the project was originally projected to cost $10,545,740, with the federal fund allocation being $7,887,061.

Musselwhite said the lowest bid and actual price tag on the project is $14,060,127.

“Since the Star Landing intersection improvements were included in a previous Desoto County MPO project that extended from Star Landing to Pleasant Hill Road, the city could not include this in our project per MPO rules,” Mayor Musselwhite said. “Desoto County is assisting with this intersection signal and widening, which costs $875,000, leaving the city with the remainder of the project cost totaling $5,298,066.”

According to him, many future projects are already planned for improving the city’s transportation grid and are just pending the necessary funding.

Specifically, Getwell Road will need to be widened further to I-269 as the opening of the interstate system has dramatically changed daily traffic counts.

“Southaven and Desoto County have had many discussions about this and will continue to pursue a complete solution on the busiest north/south arterial road in our county, excluding federal and state routes,” said Mayor Musselwhite.

Construction of this long-awaited project officially begins on March 1 with an estimated two-year timeframe for completion.

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