• Project updates in northwest Mississippi

    A view of the State Route 6 Tallahatchie River Bridge in Panola County.

    State Route 4 bridge replacement and overlay projects

    Two separate projects are underway on State Route 4 in Tate and Marshall counties.

    A $4.7 million bridge replacement project is under construction at the Cuffawa Creek Bridge. The project will realign the section of highway to lessen curves in the road.

    Earthwork for the new road alignment is nearing completion, and pilings are being driven for the new bridge. The new 630-foot span will replace the two existing bridges.

    The work is being done by Joe McGee Construction Company and is expected to be completed in winter 2019.

    Elsewhere on State Route 4, a $2.3 million overlay project from State Route 305 to the Marshall County line is being performed by Lehman-Roberts Company. It is expected to be completed .

    Interstate 55 bridge replacement in Tate County

    A project to replace two overpasses at Exit 271 near Coldwater has begun. Crews have performed earthwork to construct temporary detour lanes through the median where a temporary detour bridge will be built between the existing bridges. Precast panels have been installed on the south retaining wall, and panels are being installed on the north retaining wall.

    During the project, traffic will be rerouted onto the detour bridge while the existing bridges are replaced one at a time. When the project is completed, the temporary detour bridge will be removed.

    The existing bridges were built in 1959, and the bridge decks had deteriorated to a point where replacement was the only solution. The $9 million project will install a pair of bridges on the site with a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years. The project is estimated to be completed in late 2020.

    Bridge replacement projects in Tallahatchie County

    Work continues on two separate projects to replace multiple timber pile bridges along State Route 32 between State Route 35 and the Tallahatchie River.

    “The 12 bridges on State Route 32 that will be replaced have been repaired multiple times and are posted at 15 tons or less,” Tagert said. “These are steel beam bridges with timber pilings that were built in the late 1940s and have outlived their serviceable lives.”

    The first project near Charleston will replace six bridges and move traffic to a new alignment on State Route 32. The project began in February 2018. Earthwork is underway for the new alignment, and piles have been driven at all the bridge sites. One bridge is complete through the road deck, and another has caps installed on the piles. The other four bridges are in the early stages of construction.

    One bridge will be replaced with a box culvert as part of the project. Six existing timber box culverts will be replaced with modern concrete structures. The bridge and culvert work is expected to be completed in early spring 2019.

    A second project on State Route 32 replaces three bridges and constructs a new railroad bridge. The project is taking place on a new alignment north of the existing roadway. Two bridges have been built, and the third will be completed when guardrails are installed. The railroad bridge rises 30 feet above the busy Illinois Central Line which carries a high volume of freight traffic. The 335-foot-long bridge is over 50 percent complete with beams set across the main span. The project is expected to open to traffic in late summer.

    In the future, a third project to replace the Tallahatchie River Bridge will be advertised for bids.

    Elsewhere in the county on U.S. Highway 49 East, a nearly $5 million project to replace the Black Bayou Bridge is being performed by Eutaw Construction. A temporary detour bridge is currently under construction and expected to open in the fall. The new permanent bridge is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019.

    “Most of the work is taking place off the existing roadway to minimize impacts to traffic and to keep workers safe,” Tagert said. “However, motorists should use caution in the work zones and expect delays. Construction equipment and dump trucks will be entering and exiting the work zones throughout the project.”

    Interstate 269 in DeSoto and Marshall counties

    Construction continues on the state’s largest active highway construction project. The first two phases are complete and open to traffic from the Tennessee state line in Marshall County to State Route 305 in DeSoto County. The final nine-mile section will connect Interstate 55 and State Route 305.

    “When the final stretch is complete, we will have full connectivity between I-55 in Mississippi and I-40 in Tennessee,” Tagert said. “It will drive new growth opportunities for DeSoto County and north Mississippi.”

    The final phase of the project is scheduled for completion in fall 2018.

    Other major construction projects in District 2 include the following.

    • 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. The project will add an interchange at Industrial Road and the realignment of Cayce Road. MDOT anticipates the project to be completed in late September.

    • Interstate 55 and State Route 302 Intersection Improvements in DeSoto County

    The project adds new right turn lanes to the northbound and southbound exit ramps of I-55 and right turn/through lanes in both directions on State Route 302. The improvements will improve traffic flow at the high-use intersection. The project is slated for a fall 2018 completion.

    • State Route 6 Tallahatchie River Bridge in Panola County

    The 3,300-foot span will replace the existing Tallahatchie River Bridge and relief bridge. The project includes the realignment and reconstruction 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 estimates project completion in December 2018.

    Work zones present new traffic patterns and configurations that may be unfamiliar to motorists. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

    For more information about these or other MDOT maintenance and 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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