• Safety, increased mobility at forefront of MDOT District 1 projects

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation has announced updates to infrastructure improvement projects in the Northern Transportation District.

    “These projects are located throughout District 1, including Itawamba, Oktibbeha and Pontotoc counties, in the northeastern portion of the state and will greatly improve safety and mobility in the region,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert.

    Highway 12 Safety Improvements in Oktibbeha County

    Construction of the safety improvements along Highway 12 through the city of Starkville began in late February. The first phase of the project extends from approximately one-quarter mile west of New Light Road to Eckford Drive. Phase two will begin at Eckford Drive and extend to Russell Street, and is scheduled to be let for bids in November. MDOT anticipates the construction of phase two will begin in early 2018.

    Crews are currently working on removing the center turn lane in preparation for the new raised curb median, as well as widening the intersections at Stark Road/Airport Road and Louisville Street. A new traffic signal will be added in front of Kroger, and existing asphalt will be removed throughout the project and replaced with new asphalt.

    The traffic signals along Highway 12 will also be replaced and upgraded with state-of-the-art technology. Each new signal will be controlled by radar detection and will be connected to other traffic signals with fiber optic cable. The fiber optic cable will allow the traffic signals to communicate with one another, reducing congestion and increasing traffic flow.

    “With the reduction of the two-way center turn lane, the number of potential collision points for head-on crashes is reduced significantly,” said MDOT District 1 Engineer Mark Holley. “Traffic flow will improve with the traffic signal upgrades in this project.”

    Engineering research shows that such improvements will dramatically reduce crash rates.

    MDOT has performed similar work along heavily traveled U.S. Highway 49 in Hattiesburg and Gulfport, as well as on State Route 25/ Lakeland Drive at Dogwood Festival Market in Flowood.

    Compared to other major routes in the Golden Triangle, this section of Highway 12 has one of the highest volumes of traffic. Based on MDOT traffic count data, the corridor averages approximately 25,000 vehicles per day.

    “This section of Highway 12 represents the highest crash rate per capita of any state road north of the Jackson-Metro area,” said Tagert. “After conducting a safety audit, we found that in the course of five years there were 1,664 crashes on this short portion of Highway 12.”

    Construction began on February 27, and MDOT anticipates this phase of the safety project to be compete in late summer 2017. Lane closures will be required during the project; however, these closures will be limited to nighttime to minimize the impact to businesses during construction. Work not involving lane closures will take place during daylight hours.

    “Highway 12 is an extremely important business route for our community,” Tagert said. “We must protect and invest in this route for its long term preservation.”

    State Route 178 Bridge Replacements in Itawamba County

    This project in Itawamba County will replace eight bridges along State Route 178 between State Route 25 and the Alabama state line. Construction of detour roads and bridges at Gum Creek, Johns Creek at McFadden Road and Johns Creek at Howell Road began in February.

    State Route 178 will be closed to traffic east of Patton Flat Road until November 20 while bridges over Hickory Creek and Bull Mountain Creek are replaced. A signed detour route will be in place while construction takes place on this portion of State Route 178.

    “Safety is MDOT’s top priority,” said Tagert. “These bridges have been on MDOT’s deficient bridge list, and have become a safety concern for the traveling public. This project will increase safety and mobility throughout the region.”

    MDOT expects the project to be complete in early summer 2019.

    Other major projects in MDOT’s District 1 include:

    • Districtwide Intersection Improvement Project – This project will address approximately 100 intersections throughout the 16 counties in District 1. The intersections included in this project have seen higher numbers of traffic crashes over the last five years, according to crash report history from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The project will consist of signing, striping, delineation and warning improvements. Each new treatment was recommended by MDOT’s Traffic Engineering Division based on the crash history and traffic volume of the specific intersection in compliance with today’s standards.
    • State Route 15 in Pontotoc County – Construction on the new lanes and bridges of State Route 15 from State Route 76 to the Union County line is scheduled for completion in late fall 2017. Construction of the new bridge over the Tanglefoot Trail is complete with the exception of adding handrails. Traffic impact will be minimal during the final stages of construction. A separate paving project is scheduled to take place once dirt work and bridge construction is complete, and MDOT anticipates this project to be let in late fall 2017.
    • State Route 25 in Monroe County – The new section of State Route 25 in Monroe County from just south of Becker to U.S. Highway 278 in Amory was opened to traffic on April 12. This new section of State Route 25 will support economic growth and development in Monroe County; however, if additional funding had been available, the section could have been constructed as a four-lane, instead of only two lanes. MDOT has also developed plans for two other sections of State Route 25 north of U.S. 278 in Amory, but due to the lack of funding, there is no timeline for when construction of these sections will begin.

    Construction zones present new traffic patterns and configurations that can cause confusion to some motorists. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

    For more information about these or other MDOT construction projects, visit MDOTtraffic.com, call Mississippi 511, download the free MDOT Traffic app or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

Leave a reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.