Desoto County News

Work starts on roundabout construction in Hernando

Photo: A meeting was held with officials involved in the construction of the roundabout at Highway 51 and Oak Grove Road. (Courtesy photo)

Construction has begun on reworking an intersection at U.S. Highway 51 and Oak Grove Road in Hernando into a roundabout intersection.  

A pre-construction meeting was held earlier this week that involved city officials along with representatives of Neel-Schaffer, MDOT, Entergy, Atmos Energy, and Phillips Contracting.  

Mayor Chip Johnson announced the start of construction alerting residents to the work that will continue through the summer.  

“In the next few weeks, you will notice the moving of electric and phone lines along with slope work,” Johnson said. “Be very careful as you approach this intersection. Our goal is to have this intersection finished before the start of the new school year on Aug. 1.”

Roundabouts are being used more in constructing certain intersections to make them safer.  

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, roundabouts have become more popular and a safer alternative  to traditional stop-sign or signal controlled intersections. Roundabouts have started to appear in DeSoto County with one at the intersection of state Highway 301 and Starlanding Road.  

Roundabouts are one of the most effective ways to reduce intersection crashes and fatalities. They are designed to reduce traffic congestion, minimize the risk of severe accidents and enhance the overall flow of traffic. This is achieved by requiring vehicles to slow down and enter the circular intersection, which eliminates high-speed, head-on collisions and reduces the severity of accidents.

“The data is there. Roundabouts can reduce crashes by 50 percent and reduce fatalities by 90 percent. Along with the glaring safety benefits, they are also often more efficient than traditional intersections, reducing wait times and idling,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White.

Last April, it was announced the city would be receiving $1.5 million for the roundabout’s construction.