Traffic is always a headache, but when you have gone through a catastrophic hurricane and trying to get your life back together, the loss of an interstate can make like much more difficult.
Everyone trying to get through the Gulf Coast area are having to drive through the local roads, creating much more traffic and a great inconvenience.
GULFPORT – Our paved paradise has turned into a parking lot.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed several major traffic corridors across Harrison, Jackson and Hancock counties. Dump the thousands of vehicles that normally travel those routes to the remaining arteries and what have you got?
Bumper-to-bumper traffic. And thousands of frustrated motorists.
A bit of relief is in sight. Along with the gradual replacement of traffic lights that blew away, U.S. 90 could reopen with two lanes of travel within a couple of months.
For now, U.S. 90 is gone and so are its bridges that crossed the Mississippi Sound and the Bay of St. Louis. As for north-south corridors, Katrina left the Popp’s Ferry Bridge unusable and damaged the Interstate 110 bridge, reducing traffic to two lanes.
So how frustrating is traffic for motorists?
“Very, very frustrating,” said Melinda Massey, 34, of Northwood Hills in Gulfport. The 20-minute drive to her job at Compton’s Appliances on the Gulfport side of Pass Road now takes an hour.
“I’ve started trying to take some back roads as much as possible, but I still have to end up on Highway 49.”