• District 1 projects focus on safety, system preservation

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is moving forward with major construction projects in North Mississippi, announced Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert.

    Safety and efficiency improvement projects in Itawamba, Oktibbeha and Prentiss counties

    Crews continue with a project to increase safety along State Route 12 through Starkville in Oktibbeha County. The major component of the project is to remove the existing center, two-way left turn lane and replace it with a raised concrete curb median. Paving operations are underway from the beginning of the project to Airport Road. Crews continue to pour the concrete for the new raised medians. Construction began on February 27, and MDOT anticipates this phase of the safety project to be compete in mid-fall 2017.

    “Over a five-year period, there were 1,664 crashes on this portion of Highway 12,” Tagert said. “This number represents the highest crash rate per capita of any state-maintained road north of the Jackson-Metro area. This project will greatly increase the safety of Highway 12 for the residents of Starkville, students of Mississippi State University and visitors to the area.”

    Work to replace seven bridges along State Route 178 in Itawamba County is on schedule. Crews have completed the detour bridge over Lick Skillet Creek and are currently working on the replacement of the mainline bridge.

    Traffic has switched to new bridges on State Route 178 over Hickory Creek and Bull Mountain Creek in Itawamba County. Westbound traffic from Tremont now has access to Patton Flatt Road. Crews are working on replacing bridges over Gum Creek, Cypress Creek and a relief slough west of Patton Flatt Road. State Route 178 will remain closed to traffic until the new bridges are constructed. A signed detour route will be in place while construction takes place on this portion of State Route 178. MDOT expects the project to be complete in early summer 2019.

    MDOT is moving forward with plans to replace four bridges along State Route 145 in Prentiss County. Each bridge has weight limit restrictions and present safety concerns for the traveling public.

    Phase one started in late September and will replace three bridges over Twenty Mile Creek, Wolf Creek and the Wolf Creek tributary. Once work is complete on this phase, work will begin on phase two, which will replace a bridge over Osborne Creek, a box bridge on State Route 145 and the realignment of County Road 7090.

    Phases three and four of this project will replace a bridge over King’s Creek and a box bridge along State Route 145 north of Booneville. Construction of these two phases will begin on May 24, 2019, and have a milestone completion date of July 31, 2019. MDOT anticipates the entire project to be complete by early summer 2020.

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

    System preservation in Lee and Monroe counties

     MDOT is on schedule with a five-mile pavement restoration project on U.S. Highway 45 in Lee County from the county line to north of Brewer Road. Crews are using multiple methods to replace or treat deteriorated asphalt several inches below the surface. Crews have finished applying soil cement to the outside lanes of U.S. Highway 45 between the Shannon exit and Brewer Road, and are expected to begin repaving. MDOT anticipates work to be complete in late fall 2017.

    MDOT has started a separate pavement rehabilitation project on State Route 25 in Monroe County. The mill and overlay project consists of three sections. The first two are from the U.S. Highway 45 Interchange in Aberdeen to U.S. Highway 278 in Amory. The third section is from U.S. Highway 278 to State Route 6 through downtown Amory. MDOT expects the project to be complete in mid-fall 2017.

    “Mississippi’s roads are deteriorating at rates faster than our crews can repair them, and this trend will continue unless a stable funding solution is found,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT executive director. “However, pavement preservation projects like what we have in Lee and Monroe counties will improve safety, extend the life of the road surface and postpone costly, full-scale reconstructions.”

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

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