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Remodeled plan for Sela Ward Parkway

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The long-awaited $4.2 million project of the Sela Ward Parkway to revitalize 22nd Ave. has been remodified from its original plan after hearing the concerns of the businesses that will affect the change. However, some business owners that Newscenter 11 spoke with said they still have some concerns about the project.

The multi-million dollar project is set to begin construction at the beginning of next year. Mayor Jimmie Smith said the city has only contributed $1,000,000 to this project. He said the rest will come from the state.

“For every dollar that the city is putting in the state government is putting in $3. It is a good positive program for the community,” said Mayor Smith.

Mayor Smith explains why the project didn’t begin sooner, as construction was expected to start this past summer.

“The Ancillary businesses that were receiving shipments from were concern about that. That is why one of the reasons the city scaled it back where you only have a very short portion of that avenue as a one way,” said Smith.

The only thing that has changed about the project is there will only be one lane for one block going south from the 22nd Avenue Bridge. It will then be a 4-lane as it is now.

“We narrow it down to where it will be a 4 lane still. There will be a 4 lane going south on the bridge. It will be about a block after the bridge. After that, it will turn back into a 4 lane. Everybody is not getting exactly what they want, but they are getting close to what they want and what they need I believe,” said Smith.

Some business owners remain concerned the 22nd avenue entrance to their business would go away and hurt foot traffic, but one business owner said she is thrilled about the new development.

“We are happy about the progress. We would love to see the new design. We hope to communicate with the city about it soon,” said Smith.

“Business owners on 22nd Avenue said don’t trafficability of the people that are going to be a hazard for their business. I think it is important that the city listens to that, Smith.

Drivers and pedestrians using Sela Ward Parkway will be able to enjoy a newly paved road, new sidewalks, and new street lights when the multi-million dollar enhancement project is finished.

“This is the gateway to Meridian. It is going to beautify that street to make it nice and pleasing to the eye. The traffic is going to see Meridian shine. I think it is going to be a real good project for our city as a whole,” said Smith.

A timeline for the project has not been given.

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