November 26, 2022

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) – The city of Laurel celebrated the opening of a new roundabout Wednesday morning.

The festivities started with a parade of vehicles traveling through the roundabout, including city officials, police officers, a fire truck and surrounding business owners.

The traffic structure is located in downtown Laurel on Central Ave.

Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said the roundabout was a replacement for a red-light intersection, and he hopes the project will improve congestion in the area.

“The main goal is to make the traffic there at Sawmill and Leontyne Price flow smoother and faster because you don’t have to sit there waiting on the traffic light to change,” said Magee.

For months, the street was closed off to traffic.

The roundabout construction slowed down customer traffic for many businesses in the surrounding area. Those wanting to visit businesses downtown had to park in a different location and walk to get there.

Local business owners are grateful that things are returning to normal and are hoping to see an increase in customers as time goes on.

“Most of the businesses here at the end, we didn’t get that much attention because we had all of the construction going on, so it’s definitely going to grow business. We’re super excited about it,” said the general manager of Wilson’s Commissary said.

Chad Knight, the owner of the Knight Butcher, agreed and said the Laurel downtown community is better than ever.

“We got a really good, strong local community support, and with the tourists, it’s even better,” said Knight. “So, we’re happy to be here, and we couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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