• Improved safety focus of active projects in MDOT’s District 2

    Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert has announced updates to several Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects in District 2.

    Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Project in DeSoto County

    “DeSoto County is one of the fastest growing population centers in Mississippi,” Tagert said. “As the population increases, so does the number of vehicles on roadways. The CMAQ Project will positively affect travel times and traffic delays in the area.”

    Crews have installed four overhead Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) boards along Interstate 55, one along U.S. Highway 78 and an 80-foot camera pole on State Route 302. Remaining work involves installing all cable, conduit and fiber optics at each DMS location.

    The project is part of upgrading MDOT’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and will give motorists advance warning of crashes, travel times to major intersections and other important messages. This project will have a significant impact on the traveling public’s daily commute. Studies show that this type of ITS upgrade can reduce traffic backups by as much as 20 percent.

    “This project will enhance MDOT’s ability to monitor and manage traffic,” said Tagert. “The new features will allow MDOT to not only increase information distributed to the traveling public, but also improve emergency response and incident clearance times.”

    The benefits of this type of project extend further than just improving the efficiency of our roadways. Projects of this nature can also have a major impact on our environment. The project will reduce travel times and traffic delays, therefore reducing the amount of time vehicles are on the roads. Shorter travel times results in fewer vehicle emissions. Fewer vehicle emissions means improved air quality in the area.

    District 2 Bridge Replacement Projects

    Because of the continued deterioration of Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure, MDOT has numerous ongoing bridge replacement projects throughout District 2.

    Along State Route 6 in Coahoma, Panola and Quitman counties, construction continues on the replacement of 11 bridges between Batesville and Clarksdale. Eight of these bridges are being replaced with new structures, one is being replaced with a new box bridge and two are being replaced with box culverts. Ten of the replacements are complete and open to traffic along the mainline of State Route 6. Additionally, two bridges over the Tallahatchie River have been repaired under this contract. MDOT anticipates this project will be complete by early fall 2017.

    “This section of Highway 6 sees a great deal of agricultural traffic, especially during peak times of the growing season,” Tagert said. “Replacing the bridges along this route is vital to the efficient movement of goods and services throughout the region.”

    Work also continues on two projects to replace multiple bridges on State Route 32 in Tallahatchie County. The first project will replace three bridges and several small drainage structures along Highway 32. The project also calls for the construction of a new bridge over the railroad just east of Webb. MDOT anticipates this project will be complete in fall 2018.

    The second project will replace two bridges approximately two and a half miles west of Highway 35. MDOT expects this project to be complete in fall 2017.

    MDOT plans to let a third project to contract that will replace seven bridges along State Route 32. MDOT is finalizing the plans for this project, but no estimated completion date has been set.

    “The 12 bridges on State Route 32 that will be replaced have been repaired multiple times and are posted at 15 tons or less,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “These are steel beam bridges with timber pilings that were built in the late 1940s. Weather, wear and tear have made them a safety hazard for motorists.”

    Funding for these bridge replacement projects was made available through funds from the passage of House Bill 1630, known as the “Gaming Bill,” during the 2015 Legislative Session.

    MDOT is also moving forward with a project to replace the Tallahatchie River Bridge on State Route 6 in Panola County. This project will replace the existing Tallahatchie River Bridge as well as the relief bridges into a single 3,300-foot long bridge. The new bridge will be on a new alignment, just south of the existing bridge. This project also includes the realignment and reconstruction of other minor structures within the project limits, as well as the realignment of the Waldrup Road and Macedonia Road intersections. MDOT will coordinate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to relocate the existing levee on the west side of the Tallahatchie River. MDOT anticipates this project to be complete in late fall 2018.

    Other major construction projects in District 2 include the following.

    • State Route 6 and State Route 7 Cable Barrier Installation in Lafayette County
      Crews continue work on a project that will install cable median barriers on State Route 6 from Jackson Avenue to University Avenue, and on State Route 7 from just north of the Belk Boulevard intersection to the four-lane section past State Route 30. New fill material is being added to the medians to raise the flow line. New drainage inlets will also be added to the median on State Route 6. Work is expected to be complete in spring 2018.
    • U.S. Highway 72 Expansion in Marshall County
      Construction continues on a project to four-lane the last remaining two-lane section of Highway 72 in Mississippi from State Route 302 to the Tennessee state line in Marshall County. Crews are currently working on grading, drainage and bridge work. The project will also add an interchange at Industrial Road and the realignment of Cayce Road. MDOT anticipates this project to be complete in summer 2018.
    • U.S. Highway 51 Coldwater River Bridge Replacement in Tate County
      This 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. Currently, crews have completed driving the majority of the new bridge piles, and continue to finish dirt and drainage work. The bridge was originally scheduled for replacement in November 2016; however, damage sustained to the bridge during a March 2016 flood event caused MDOT to close the bridge and move the project timeline forward. A signed detour route is in place directing motorists to use Interstate 55 between Hernando and Coldwater. MDOT anticipates the project will be complete in mid-winter 2017.
    • Interstate 269 in DeSoto and Marshall Counties
      Construction of the Interstate 269 project is on schedule in North Mississippi. This is the largest active MDOT construction project in the state. Dirt and bridgework for the entire Interstate 269 corridor is complete. Crews are currently working on paving the sections of the project that have not been paved. MDOT expects Interstate 269 to be open for traffic in fall 2018. The first section of Interstate 269, from State Route 302 to the Tennessee state line in Marshall County, was opened to traffic on October 23, 2015.

    Work zones can present confusing and unfamiliar traffic patterns. For information on how to navigate a highway work zone safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

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

Leave a reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.