The opening couldn’t have come at a better time, as holiday shoppers will soon begin to crowd D’Iberville shopping centers, increasing traffic as well as wait times. News 25 spoke to retailers around the city to find out what they thought about the new development.
The road construction around D’Iberville started off with bang earlier this year, but business owners quickly found out it was going to cause a few problems. News 25 spoke with one local business in the project’s path back in June. Ryan Matheny, a former KIA employee, says, "What it’s doing is routing traffic away from the dealership opposed to where we need it to go."
News 25 stopped by the same dealership Tuesday six months later for an update. John Goodman, Floor Manager at Pat Peck KIA, says, "Well, we took an initial dip as everyone figured how to reroute, but our business has come back up."
Employees of the Promenade have had to deal with their share of woes since the shopping center was limited to just one entrance. Patrick Garlotte, a retail employee, says, "All the construction now has changed my commute time from about two minutes to ten minutes, so it makes a big difference."
With months still to go until the completion of all of D’Iberville’s road projects, citizens and retailers will continue to wait. Tuesday’s opening of the I-10 onramp is a big first step in getting D’Iberville moving again. Bobby Eleuterius, City Manager of D’Iberville, says, "We are nearing the end, and once this is complete, you will be able to traverse the whole area. It will be very easy, it will be very accessible."
Once the projects are completed, drivers will be able to access both Lamey Bridge and the Promenade directly from the interstate. It’s been a slight inconvenience, but residents tell News 25 in the long run, it’s been worth the wait and traffic headaches. Goodman also says, "It’s something that’s been needed for a while. The bridges were getting old, improving the roads. Now with it completed, it will be something that will be here for a long time, especially with the new interchanges."
Garlotte closes, "There’s a lot going on out there right now, but if we can get through it, it will all be worth it."
The new ramp is sure to be a gift for holiday shoppers and area businesses alike, as thousands venture out to this popular shopping area this holiday season. The city hopes to have all the Mississippi Department of Transportation (M.D.O.T.) projects completed by the spring of next year and have big plans for the continued growth of D’Iberville.