Neel-Schaffer will do sports complex traffic study report

Published 6:41 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

Neel-Schaffer, the consulting engineer for the Sports Force Park on the Mississippi sports complex, will prepare a report for the city on the facility’s effect on traffic on Fisher Ferry Road, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen learned Monday.

Neel-Schaffer representatives offered to do the study during a meeting with the board and representatives from Stantec and The Sports Force, including Neel-Schaffer after Monday’s board meeting.

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The special meeting was called in response to criticism Friday of Stantec by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. after the mayor learned Stantec, the county’s engineer, recommended a traffic study of Fisher Ferry at the park entrance. When he received the news about the traffic study, Flaggs said, “I thought we were going to have to hire another engineer to do a study. That’s why I was upset.”

John McKee with Stantec said Friday the study was to determine what will be needed to meet a potential increase in traffic on the road.

Monday morning, Christopher Trebisky of Neel-Schaffer said a preliminary study of the traffic in the area indicated a traffic signal is not needed at the intersection of the park entrance and Fisher Ferry.

“We’ve looked at the numbers,” he said. “We haven’t prepared an official traffic effect study, but the numbers will not warrant a signal at that intersection. There’s just not enough to warrant it at peak hours. There’s no warrantable amount we’re anticipating on that road for a signal.”

“All we’re saying at this point,” Trebisky, the park project engineer, said, “is that with this type of facility it is highly unlikely any type of traffic signal is warranted, because facilities such as this don’t generate a peek hour traffic at the same time as your typical commuter traffic, between 7 and 9 (a.m.) and 4 and 6 (p.m.).”

Mark Sorrell, traffic engineer for Neel -Schaffer, said experience from a sports complex project the company engineered in Starkville indicated most of the traffic from the facility was generated between 6 and 9 p.m. That, he said, was during weekday evenings.

Tribesky said Neel-Schaffer will do a full study.

What Stantec would be looking for from Neel-Schaffer, McKee said, is something in writing to the city about the study. “If you’re comfortable saying and giving the city that statement, and stamping it, then you’re good,” he said.

“Then bingo, we’ve saved the city some money,” Flaggs said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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