The construction will affect traffic and drainage in a congested part of town, a part of Gulfport that has seen years of difficulty and congestion that affects local business owners. Jeff Savarese, Owner of Real Wood Furniture Showcase, says, "Yeah, I think sometimes it might be a little difficult to get in and anytime traffic flows better, it’s better for business." Savarese has owned the Real Wood Furniture Showcase for 14 years, and in that time, he has waited for the city to widen Creosote Road and Three Rivers Road. Savarese also says, "Sometimes in the afternoon, when I leave, the traffic is backed up a long way. It’s hard to get out, so I’m sure if they widened it and put two more lanes, it would move more freely." Today, city officials turned over some dirt to begin that process. A roundabout and three extra lanes will change the flow of traffic in the area near the airport, which should ease traffic flow to the nearby WalMart and Industrial Seaway District. Robert Flowers, a Gulfport councilman, says, "This road project is important not only to Ward Three, but every ward in the city, because so many of us use it to go north and south."
Tom King of the Mississippi Transportation Commission says, "That’s what it’s all about. Transportation equals economic development. It’s a great project for the city. It has been worked on for many years." The 3.4 million dollar project has been in the works since before Hurricane Katrina, and the upcoming change will address problems the storm left behind. Ella Holmes-Hines, a councilwoman of Ward 3, says, "What this business district needed, it’s going to help them tremendously with what they've been enduring with the water." Savarese also says, "The drainage right now is one of the worst things. When we have a flash flood, water will actually make it up to the sidewalk here." Gulfport only paid for 20 percent of the project, with the rest paid for by M.D.O.T. and the Federal Highway Administration, but drivers won't see major change until after the upcoming season. Kris Riemann, Director of Engineering in Gulfport, says, "We expect to start construction after the 1st of the year. We are going to delay the major construction until after the holiday season so we can continue good sales." The construction is projected to take a little over a year.