New Quitman bypass seen as mixed blessing

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 28, 2001
QUITMAN The long-awaited Highway 45 four-lane bypass of Quitman is expected to open within two months, but some residents see it as a mixed blessing.
A piece of the state's multi-billion-dollar 1987 highway program, the new road will route traffic from Clarkco State Park, located north of Quitman, around to the east, reconnecting with Highway 45 south of Quitman at the community of DeSoto.
Workers still must paint lines on the asphalt and tend to a few other details.
While the bypass will facilitate the flow of traffic, many local residents see it as a mixed blessing. Highway 45 currently takes traffic through the heart of downtown Quitman. Though it will cut down on Quitman's traffic count considerably, the bypass will take the big trucks around the town, thus cutting down on congestion.
But it will also cut down on travelers passing through who might stop for gas or do some other business with Quitman merchants.
Another community is already getting a taste of what a bypass can mean.
Last Wednesday, the state opened the Highway 84 four-lane bypass which re-routed traffic from east-to-west, picking up about two miles outside of town on both sides.
Waynesboro Mayor Marshall Wood said traffic changes in town have not been noticeable at this point.
Two major jobs on the four-lane project are scheduled to go out for bids in late March, according to Smith.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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