TUPELO • Part of Lumpkin Avenue has been torn up as city contractors forge ahead with a project to fix a skewed pair of intersections at Main Street.
Roadwork that began this week has closed Lumpkin for its final stretch leading up to Main Street. The entire road surface there will be torn up so that the street can be realigned with the intersection of nearby Monument Drive.
The project will also require the relocation of a traffic light.
“That traffic light in front of the battlefield will be useless,” said Tupelo Water & Light Director Johnny Timmons. “We’ll retire that one and put another up at the new intersection.”
The Major Thoroughfare Program is funding the improvements. Construction work will top $500,000.
The program committee has already repeatedly targeted Tupelo’s Main Street corridor for improvements. Most recently, Thoroughfare commissioned a study of traffic light signals and traffic patterns on one of the city’s most heavily traveled transportation corridors.
After new traffic signal patterns were proposed, the City Council agreed to funnel more than $500,000 into putting those new signals into use.
The latest work to help untangle Main Street comes as Tupelo’s voter-imposed Major Thoroughfare Program has passed the halfway point of its sixth phase, which was approved at a 2016 referendum.
Thus far in its sixth phase, Major Thoroughfare has steered to completion a new interchange at Thomas Street and Highway 6 and undertaken improvements to the interchange of Eason Boulevard and Highway 45.
The committee also approved spending money on improvements at the intersection of Coley Road and West Jackson Street Extended and the intersection of Coley Road and McCullough Boulevard.
Earlier this week, the Major Thoroughfare committee approved its next big-ticket item: the construction of a center turning lane and associated improvements on Jackson Street from Clayton Avenue to Madison Street.
The Major Thoroughfare program is funded by a dedicated 10-mill tax levy which voters must periodically renew.