Meridian business owners address 22nd Avenue project plans

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:32 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The latest plan for the 22nd Avenue, or Sela Ward Parkway, enhancement project includes eliminating one of the lanes heading out of downtown Meridian.

Business owners along the route say the change will impact their businesses and they haven’t been contacted by the city to express their concerns.

So the group, along with an attorney, addressed city leaders at Tuesday’s city council work session.

Eddy Chaney of Ed Chaney Tire Pros said he’d like to see the enhancement happen, without impacting the flow of traffic.

“I do advocate making the city more attractive,” said Chaney. “But if you ruin the traffic count from 22nd Avenue and make it to a three-lane, not only will you have safety issues, you will create havoc for the businesses that are already there.”

Council President Kim Houston said prior to Tuesday, council members thought that the city was communicating with the business owners.

“We were under the impression that we were ready to move forward, that I guess all hearts and minds were kind of satisfied,” said Houston. “But in today’s meeting they did come out pretty strong that there are still yet conversations that need to be had.”

Chief Administrative Officer Eddie Kelly said the city plans to meet with the group to address its concerns.

“We’re going to go back and take another look at the plans,” said Kelly. “Hear their concerns in a more private meeting with them and talk it out with them. See what direction we need to go.”

The proposed lane removal was planned to make room for pedestrian traffic.

Funding for the $3.2 million project comes from bond issues, Mississippi Department of Transportation grants and taxpayer money.

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