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Plans change for Sela Ward Parkway revitalization project

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The long-awaited revitalization project on 22nd Avenue might look a little different than previously planned.

After city leaders revealed Sela Ward Parkway would be reduced to three lanes of traffic, many business owners weren’t happy. They voiced their concerns and now the city says they listened.

“The engineers went back to MDOT. They worked out some solutions that we feel like is going to be a win-win for everybody,” Comunity Development Director Laura Carmichael said.

Although not yet revealed, the new plan would keep four lanes of traffic on Sela Ward Pkwy. Business owner Ed Chaney says he still has some concerns, but is happy about the alleged change.

“I still think that we need four-lanes on 22nd Ave. I think it’s a blessing for that. However I’m being selfish and want to keep my entrance on 22nd Ave.,” Chaney said.

In the plans given to Chaney in late January, the 22nd Ave. entrance of his business would go away. He says he hasn’t seen the new plans, but hopes it includes keeping his entrance open. Carmichael says everyone should be happy with the new changes.

“With any project, not everybody is going to agree on something but you do want to listen to concerns that are brought forth. We are willing to try to work with everybody,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said one thing that won’t change in the new plan is the pedestrian walkway on the bridge.

Currently, if you want to walk over the 22nd Ave. bridge, you have to take a path next to the southbound lanes of traffic. The pathway is only accessible by climbing steps.

Both plans have a new pedestrian path using one of the southbound lanes. This would create only one lane of traffic heading south.

Chaney believes a pedestrian crossing should be added to the bridge, but on the same side as the MAX and Children’s Museum.

“I believe there are some engineers out there that can figure out how to hang another bridge beside a bridge without taking away another lane coming over,” Chaney said.

City officials say the new plan will be presented at an upcoming council meeting. A timeline for the project has not been given.

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