• MDOT moves forward with major infrastructure improvement projects in District Two

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced updates to several major infrastructure improvement projects in North Mississippi. The projects are spread throughout DeSoto, Coahoma, Marshall, Panola, Quitman and Tate Counties in the northwestern portion of the state, and will greatly improve safety and mobility in the region.

    U.S. Highway 51 Coldwater River Bridge Replacement in Tate County

    The replacement of the U.S. 51 Bridge over the Coldwater River was let to contract at the beginning of June 2016. The project will replace the existing 1,100 foot bridge with a new 2,000 foot bridge and raise the roadway by four feet to prevent future flooding. Crews have begun clearing the right-of-way along U.S. 51.

    “After the flooding event, our bridge inspection crews assessed the damage to the Coldwater River Bridge,” said MDOT District Two Engineer Mitch Turner. “Because of the damage sustained, MDOT made the decision to close the bridge and move the replacement project forward in order to keep the traveling public safe.”

    This bridge was originally scheduled for replacement in November 2016, however damage sustained to the bridge during a March flood event caused MDOT to close the bridge and move the project timeline forward. MDOT closed the Coldwater River Bridge on March 11, and it will remain closed until the replacement project is complete.

    A signed detour route is in place directing motorists to use Interstate 55 between Hernando and Coldwater. MDOT anticipates the project will be completed in spring 2018.

    “We realize that the detour route around this project is inconvenient to many motorists,” Tagert said. “However, the safety of the traveling public must be our top priority.”

    Another item tied to this contract is the rehabilitation of the Coldwater River Bridges along Interstate 55. This work will include removing patches in the bridge deck and placing a high friction surface treatment, which will give the bridge deck a new riding surface. MDOT expects this portion of work to be completed in early fall.

    Other major projects in MDOT’s District Two include:

    • Interstate 269 in DeSoto and Marshall Counties

    Construction of the Interstate 269 project continues and is on schedule in North Mississippi. The Interstate 269 project is the largest active MDOT construction project in the state. Dirt and bridge work for the entire Interstate 269 corridor has been completed. The next phase of the project involves two separate paving projects, the largest of which has been let to contract, and work has already begun. The second paving project is scheduled to be let in September. MDOT expects Interstate to be ready for traffic in the fall of 2018.

    The first section of Interstate 269, from Mississippi 302 to the Tennessee state line in Marshall County, was opened to traffic on October 23, 2015.

    • State Route 6/ U.S. Highway 278 Bridge Replacement in Coahoma, Quitman and Panola Counties

    MDOT has begun a project to replace and repair bridges along State Route 6/ U.S. Highway 278 between Clarksdale and Batesville in Coahoma, Quitman and Panola Counties. The project includes 11 bridges that will be replaced and two that will be repaired. The 13 bridges included in this project are on MDOT’s structurally deficient bridge list.

    Detour bridges and roads are currently being constructed. To date, crews have completed repairs on one of the bridges over the Tallahatchie River in Panola County. MDOT anticipates that the project will be completed in its entirety by mid-fall 2017.

    Funding for this project came from funds made available from the passage of the “Gaming Bill” during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. This bill authorizes the use of state revenue bonds to provide $200 million in funds for the repair, rehabilitation, replacement, construction and reconstruction of bridges that are on MDOT’s structurally deficient bridge list, and other transportation-related projects.

    • Highway 328 Bridge Replacement Project in Lafayette County

    MDOT crews have completed the bridge replacement project on State Route 328 in Lafayette County. The existing bridge was removed and replaced with a new drainage structure. Crews will be removing the detour sites and completing the final dressing and grassing slopes in the construction area. Motorists are urged to continue to use caution while workers are present in the work zone.