Part of Halls Ferry closing Saturday for work near Division

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 15, 2000

A heavily traveled section of Halls Ferry Road between Confederate and Bowmar avenues will be closed Saturday while city crews work at the Division Street junction.

Vicksburg Street Department employees will close off the section of Halls Ferry around 7:30 a.m. to begin excavating two hills at the Division Street entrance. The work is expected to be completed that afternoon, said South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb, and the road will be reopened.

“There is no way to say how much earth they are going to move because they are going to judge it as they go,” Habeeb said.

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There have been a rash of wrecks when northbound motorists stop to turn left onto Division. That prompted city officials to lower the speed limit on Halls Ferry from 30 mph to 20 mph along that stretch.

Now workers will attempt to alleviate visibility problems at the intersection where a main thoroughfare and the residential area meet.

“When you come down Halls Ferry, you can’t see that there is a road there,” said Iver Rhodman, a Division Street resident.

Eddie and Iver Rhodman, along with 11 residents from Division Street and Wisteria Drive, were at a public hearing in August to have their say after Vicksburg Police Chief Mitchell Dent proposed restricting left turns from Halls Ferry Road. City officials rejected Dent’s proposal to make the residental drive one way after complaints from residents.

About 15,000 vehicles passed through the intersection during a one-day traffic count on May 18. Each crash reported at Division Street and Halls Ferry Road in recent months has occurred in wet weather when a northbound car on Halls Ferry, stopped to turn left onto Division, has been struck from behind.

“You are always going to have wrecks,” Eddie Rhodman said. “Not everybody is suitable to have a driver’s license.”

Other changes along Halls Ferry Road will be designed to slow down the traffic coming over the hill. City workers will be putting in new warning signs and a flashing caution light, Habeeb said.