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Eggs and Issues 2021: Local state leaders provide update on Lafayette County’s infrastructure projects

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories about topics discussed at the Eggs and Issues event, including tourism, infrastructure and economic recovery.

Last Friday, Lafayette’s elected officials at the state level provided updates on key issues during the annual Eggs and Issues event at the Oxford Conference Center.

Among those issues was an update on Lafayette County’s infrastructure and projects that are underway or soon to be underway. Last week’s event was the first since the COVID-19 pandemic where elected officials were able to meet in person with their constituents.

During his time to address the audience, Representative Clay Deweese provided updates on several projects taking place in Oxford and Lafayette County that began during the nearly two-year span between the time the legislative breakfast last took place.

Deweese stated that nearly $7 million has been secured for projects in Oxford over the last two years, with the bulk of it going toward the University Avenue and Highway 7 intersection project, which will cost $4 million.

Lafayette County was able to secure another $2 million for the remainder of the West Oxford Loop Extended project, which will connect West Oxford with Highway 7 North near Industrial Park Drive once it is completed in 2023.

“(The University Avenue-Highway 7 project) is in the design phase now,” Deweese said. “We’re ready to move forward with that project. I know that’s been neglected for many years, and we all know what a terrible intersection that is. So, we’ll be glad when that happens.”

DeWeese noted there will be roundabouts on each side of University Avenue when motorists exit Highway 7 north and southbound. University Avenue will also be widened on the west side, near the traffic signal by Larson’s CashSaver.

Another project that is underway is the Highway 7 South and South Lamar Boulevard intersection. The Mississippi Department of Transportation is aligning South Lamar with County Road 401 to make it easier and safer for motorists to go across Highway 7 South. A turn lane will be placed in the middle of Highway 7.

Deweese said that project is slated to be completed this summer.

“That will allow northbound traffic to continue and just keep coming up. Not get stalled by a car trying to turn left with southbound traffic,” Deweese said.

The much-discussed roundabout at the Highway 7 South and Highway 9 split has begun its preliminary work. Trees have been cleared where a temporary access road will be built to allow traffic to continue while the roundabout is constructed.

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