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June 15, 2010 10:47:00 AM
At a public hearing Thursday at the Trotter Convention Center, area residents will have an opportunity to ask questions of Mississippi Department of Transportation representatives and make comments on a U.S. Highway 45 bypass project.
During the hearing, which will be held from 4-7 p.m., residents will have an opportunity to view maps of two routes proposed for the bypass, which will be about eight miles long, with four miles to be located in the city and county each.
Residents can come and go as they choose during the informally structured hearing, city officials said, noting documentation on environmental aspects of the two routes also will be available.
Each of the two routes, which vary only slightly, begin at Waters Truck and Tractor on East Plymouth Road and end at the north gate of Columbus Air Force Base on Highway 45 North.
The project is not expected to be completed until 2020. After the hearing, the route will be finalized and then preliminary work, including surveys, land acquisition and environmental assessments will begin.
Construction likely will begin within three years, Columbus Mayor Robert Smith earlier said.
The bypass project was initiated in 2003; previous public hearings provided input which narrowed routes under consideration from six to the two routes, which will be presented to the public Thursday.
bob commented at 6/15/2010 1:21:00 PM:
This looks ike a terrible idea from the maps and info provided on the website: The areas about to be impacted: 400 + acres of farmland, 140 acres of wetlands, 750 acres of wildlife "habitat removal", 11 noise impact locations, 38 residential relocations "not including 113 apartment units" PLUS 10 years of construction and $200 million dollars wasted when we already have the "bypass" there. People who live in the area know how to use the existing back roads around to bypass 45. Anyone who lives near Holly Hills Road, Bent Tree, Lincoln road needs to attend this meeting and express their concerns. Any business owner with a place on 45 had also better attend before they see their volume of business affected.
bob commented at 6/15/2010 1:25:00 PM:
Typical.........2 days notice before a major meeting on an important issue......at the height of vacation season.
kj commented at 6/15/2010 1:46:00 PM:
It's probably a little late in the process to be trying to start over. People have had 7 years of input on this thing already.
bob commented at 6/15/2010 2:11:00 PM:
They're having another public meeting so it's obviously not too late. The last meeting was to show several different options. This meeting was to show the "narrowed down list" of alternatives. I think they stink as do several others. Does our budget cutting governor know that $200 million is going to be wasted on this folly? Does the DEP / EPA fully understand the wetlands / wildlife implications? Holly Hills Road is already too densley populated to be adding this interchange into the mix.
doj commented at 6/15/2010 4:29:00 PM:
Back years ago before the waterway, the original idea was to divert Hwy 45 traffic across the Tombigbee from CAFB to the junction at 82 & 45 west of town. What this plan does does is divert SOME truck and SOME local traffic off 45N to 82 and on to Starkville and/or Alabama. The majority of the local traffic is going to take the path of least resistance and keep flowing down 45N and Bluecutt. We get excited about all these plans, and by the time actual construction starts 20 years from now, and continues for 30 years or so after start, some other problem will crop up and it will be jerririgged to fix that. What we need is a REAL comprehensive plan for development or redevelopment for the future out to about 50 years or so, and update that plan every 5 years or so. We can't continue to grow by reacting to problems. We need to plan and have contingency plans to that plan. You want to ease traffic on 45N -- Syncronize the lights to facilate traffic, limit access to a few exits on and/or off instead of every 100 feet or so. I lived in a high traffic area where the average was 40,000 or so cars a day. You may wait 5 minutes at intersection, but when the light changed, the traffic flowed at 50 MPH. That would be way cheaper than $200 million and waitin 50 years until it was completed. But this is Columbus, and somebody might get chapped about that. BTW, the land where this is to be built is mostly owned by one family. Curious no?
dave commented at 6/15/2010 6:59:00 PM:
I moved to Columbus 14 years ago. Public officials were discussing the 45 bypass then. Now, we are told it won't be completed until 2020. Meanwhile, Aberdeen and Starkville have had their bypasses for years. This is a classic example of why Columbus is so far behind cities like Tupelo and Oxford. Too bad, because Columbus has a lot of potential. Oh well, at least we'll have the soccer fields that can double as water polo fields since we're building them in a flood zone.
raymond commented at 6/15/2010 10:56:00 PM:
I remember the last time we had a big pow wow at the Trotter about all the alternatives of on and off ramps to the by-pass. Egads , that was many years ago. Jeffery was still Mayor and Sanders was Police Chief. Joe was just standing around saying his good bye's to everybody because he was retiring. Well, looks like a whole different picture for this showing of the same plans. We have a democrat in the Mayor's spot his main man as chief and old Joe is still standing around saying his good bye's to everybody. Well, maybe not every thing will be different. Hopefully the Mayor and Ward 5 Councilman can save their fistycuffs about this issue untill after the meeting.
PS: For the Mayor and Ward 5 councilman---the big dead tree on 9th st. north is broken at the bottom now and the only thing keeping it from falling across the road is a limb in it's top that's caught on another tree. When, not if but when, it does come down it will take out all the power lines and anybody who is unlucky enough to be under it at the time. I told you about this years ago but you're all too busy making plans for those three day weedends to give a darn about the saftey of the citizens in this area. If this tree was by your house I bet you ten to one that your concern would go through the roof. There's an election coming for both of you guys.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 6/16/2010 6:35:00 AM:
Look Ma, a brand new shiney road to go with the brand new shiney bridge to sit on. What's that you say Ma? Business along 45 is down? Oh well, at least now you have time to go sit on the bridge.
Between the bridge, the new business by-pass, and those extra bags of tater chips being sold at the Marina "we're in the money, we're in the money."
1. Ex-office manager arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY