Molly Barr roundabouts tricky but necessary

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

If you have not driven on Molly Barr near Highway 7, you are in for a bit of a surprise.

The Molly Barr Road improvement project was completed earlier this month. There are three circular roundabouts to navigate east to west. And what was a straight street is now a 20 mile per hour zone that requires full attention of drivers.

Kudos to Mississippi Department of Transportation, the City or Oxford and Lafayette County for being proactive and planning infrastructure improvements together. Lafayette County supervisors approved the $6 million road improvement project last November in response to the request of The Colonnade developer owned by MFM Development. It was funded through Tax Incremental Financing (TIF).

The road improvement will allow access to the Colonnade Crossing commercial development and developments to come on the south side of the road. There is a wide 10-foot sidewalk on both sides of the road for bikes and foot traffic. Traffic can flow smoothly without traffic lights or stop signs, while allowing cars to enter and exit.

And although Oxford drivers are used to roundabouts similar to the ones on South Lamar, Sisk and Highway 7, these on Molly Barr will take a bit of getting used to. The three roundabouts are in quick succession and require two hands on the wheel.  Our visitors not used to navigating roundabouts will face some challenges

“Progress can certainly be a pain and we appreciate our community’s patience as this project was completed,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill. “It will take a little getting used to but with the growth expected in this area, this will make traveling on this major thoroughfare more efficient and safer. My advice – go slow.

Usually when the construction cones and detour signs are removed traffic flows faster. Not so here, by design and for good reason. The demand of future traffic in the area and for our game day traffic surges required a response.

The newly improved road, and access to Highway 7 will get its first big test this weekend for Ole Miss’s first home game. Let’s all use caution, as we all learn to navigate this road improvement together.