• Projects continue in Northwest Mississippi

    Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District, has announced updates to Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects in Northwest Mississippi.

    Interstate 55 bridge replacement in Tate County

    Crews demolished the existing Interstate 55 northbound bridge over State Route 306 on December 1 in Tate County.

    A project to replace two overpasses at Exit 271 near Coldwater continues in Tate County. The existing northbound I-55 bridge over State Route 306 was demolished earlier this month.

    Northbound I-55 traffic has been rerouted to a temporary detour bridge while crews reconstruct the permanent bridge. When the bridge is complete, crews will move to the southbound lanes. The temporary detour bridge will be removed when the project is completed.

    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 was awarded to Joe McGee Construction Company. The 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 summer 2019. 

    State Route 4 bridge replacement in Tate County

    Crews continue construction on the State Route 4 Bridge over Cuffawa Creek in Tate County.

    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 crews are constructing the road deck along the new 630-foot span, which 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.

    Bridge replacement projects in Tallahatchie County

    Work continues on a bridge replacement project along State Route 32 between State Route 35 and the Tallahatchie River.

    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.

    The eastern phase of the project is complete and open to traffic. Three new bridges and four box culverts were installed.

    The western phase of the project is currently under construction. The bridge and culvert work is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

    When construction is completed, a new surface course of asphalt will be laid throughout the project area.

    A second project on State Route 32 replaced three bridges and constructed a new railroad bridge. The project was completed in November.

    “The bridges on State Route 32 in these projects 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.”

    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 has been opened for traffic. The existing bridge is being demolished, and 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.”

    State Route 6 Tallahatchie River Bridge in Panola County

    Crews continue construction on the new State Route 6 Bridge over Tallahatchie River in Panola County. The existing bridge is pictured.

    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.

    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, download the free MDOT Traffic app or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Bridge maintenance and highway preservation in northeast Mississippi

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has projects underway to preserve and maintain highways and bridges in northeast Mississippi, said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District.Bridge maintenance on State Route 145 in Prentiss County

    A bridge replacement project continues on State Route 145 in Prentiss County.

    Work continues on this project to replace six bridges and a box culvert along State Route 145 in Prentiss County. The existing timber pile bridges and culvert were built in the 1940s. MDOT engineers placed weight restrictions on each of the bridges which presented safety concerns for the traveling public. The project covers four separate sites.

    Site 1 included three bridges over Twenty Mile Creek, Wolf Creek and the Wolf Creek Tributary. The three bridges are now open for the traveling public.

    Site 2 includes one bridge replacement over Osborne Creek and one box culvert extension. County Road 7090 will be realigned as part of the project. Crews are currently doing earth work at the site. A signed detour is in place.

    Site 3, north of State Route 4, will rebuild one bridge over King’s Creek. Site 4, north of Thrasher Road, will replace one bridge with a new box culvert. Sites 3 and Site 4 have a construction timeline of May 2019 to July 2019. Detours will be in place.

    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 public safety issue,” Tagert said. “These projects will increase safety and mobility throughout the region.”

    Bridge maintenance on State Route 178 in Itawamba County

    At Johns Creek in Itawamba County, a temporary detour bridge is in place while crews construct a new, permanent bridge on State Route 178.

    Work to replace seven bridges along State Route 178 in Itawamba County is on schedule.

    Traffic is moving on the new bridges over Lick Skillet Creek, Gum Creek, Cypress Creek, a relief slough bridge, Hickory Creek and Bull Mountain Creek Bridge.

    At Johns Creek, a temporary detour bridge is in place while crews construct a new, permanent bridge. A second bridge over Johns Creek will be replaced with a box culvert, which is currently under construction.

    “The original bridges were constructed in the 1930s, and they have outlived their serviceable life spans,” Tagert said. “When the project is completed, it will put this section of State Route 178 back in full service.”

    Bridge maintenance on State Route 245 in Lee County

    The existing timber pile bridge, located about two miles south of Shannon on State Route 256, was built in 1934 and has posted weight restrictions. Inspections revealed decaying piles and section loss in the steel girders.

    The new bridge is open to traffic while crews finish smoothing and sealing the pavement.

    “The Tubbalubba Creek Bridge had outlived its design life and could become unsafe for the traveling public,” Tagert said. “The new bridge has a design life of 75 years and will increase commerce and mobility in the area.”

    Four-lane expansion on State Route 15 in Pontotoc County

    Crews work on a project to expand State Route 15 in Pontotoc County from two lanes to four will stretch approximately eight miles from State Route 76 north to the Union County line.

    A $21.5 million construction project to expand State Route 15 in Pontotoc County from two lanes to four will stretch approximately eight miles from State Route 76 north to the Union County line.

    Crews have completed foundation and soil stabilization work on the north end of the project. Paving is expected to start by mid-November on the north end.

    The four-lane project also includes replacement or repair of three bridges along the existing highway. On the south end of the project, the Lappatubby Creek Bridge, which was constructed in 1955, will be replaced. The Tanglefoot Trail Bridge, which was built in 1971, will be replaced, and the existing roadway will be lowered to a similar grade as the new lanes.

    A third bridge in Ecru crossing the Lappatubby Creek was built in 1971 and will see several repairs and improvements.

    The intersection of State Route 345 will also be realigned.

    The project was awarded to Talbot Brothers, of Nesbit, in April. The estimated completion will be summer 2020.

    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.

    “Workers may be present on these maintenance and construction projects,” Said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “MDOT encourages drivers to slow down in work zones so our crew members can make it home safe to their families.”

    For more information on 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.

  • Interstate 269 opens to traffic in north Mississippi

    Commissioner Mike Tagert was joined by U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith; U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker; Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves; Don Davis, Mississippi Division Administrator, Federal Highway Authority; Melinda McGrath, MDOT Executive Director; and over 300 other officials and community members for the opening of Interstate 269 on October 26 at the Getwell Road Interchange in DeSoto County.

     

    Motorists in northwest Mississippi have full access to Interstate 269 now that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) opened the final nine-mile segment.

    The new highway officially opened from Interstate 55 in DeSoto County to State Route 305 in Marshall County after a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Getwell Road Interchange.

    Commissioner Mike Tagert

    “We are excited to complete this major construction project. After seven years of construction, Interstate 269 is now officially open to the traveling public,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District.

    Joining Tagert at the ceremony were U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Don Davis, Mississippi Division Administrator, Federal Highway Authority, along with over 300 other guests and community members.

    Motorists are now able to take I-269 from I-55 near Hernando for nearly 60 miles in a loop to Millington, Tenn. Traffic from Interstate 40 will be able to more easily access I-55 and U.S. Highway 61 in the Delta. I-269 also connects Interstate 22 which runs to Tupelo. Recently four-laned U.S. Highway 72 also crosses I-269 near Collierville, Tennessee.

    Construction of the approximately $640 million began in 2011 and consisted of about 26 miles of four-lane, controlled-access highway in Mississippi.

    The first segment of I-269 from the state line to State Route 302 opened in 2015. The second segment from State Route 302 to State Route 305 opened in 2017. The third and final segment opened today.

    “We are truly proud of the I-269 project,” Tagert said. “It will increase mobility, boost commerce and help relieve congestion throughout the region.”

    For commuters and local traffic, I-269 will give motorists an option to travel at highway speeds without traffic signals found on local roads.

    For commercial traffic, I-269 will give truckers a more efficient route between I-40 and I-55, while avoiding congestion in the Memphis metro area.

    The MDOT Honor Guard

    “Interstate 269 represents a huge asset for the region,” Tagert said. “The quality of our infrastructure impacts our quality of life and factors into economic development. Increased mobility, connectivity and commerce will lead to more investment and more jobs in the region.”

    Workers on the project moved nearly 14 million cubic yards of dirt, laid about 863,000 tons of asphalt, constructed 45 bridges consisting of over 92,000 cubic yards of concrete and applied 286 miles of striping.

    The 26 miles of I-269 are part of a larger Interstate 69 corridor. The 1,600-mile highway is a proposed connector between Canada and Mexico.

  • State Route 245 at Tubbalubba Creek reopens for traffic in Lee County

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has reopened a section of State Route 245 in Lee County as the Tubbalubba Bridge project nears completion.

    Traffic can resume use of State Route 245 between County Road 130 and County Road 54. Motorists should remain vigilant for highway workers who may be present at the site through October finishing work along the shoulder.

    “The old Tubbalubba Creek Bridge outlived its design life,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “As part of MDOT’s scheduled maintenance, the bridge was replaced. The new bridge will have a design life of 75 years and will increase commerce and mobility in the area.”

    The old timber pile bridge, located about two miles south of Shannon, was built in 1934 and had posted weight restrictions. Inspections revealed decaying piles and section loss in the steel girders.

    The $2.4 million replacement project was awarded in May to Joe McGee Construction, of Lake.

    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.

  • 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.

  • Bridge maintenance and highway preservation in northeast Mississippi

    A view of the State Route 245 Tubbalubba Bridge Project in early July.

    Bridge maintenance on State Route 145 in Prentiss County

    Work continues on this project to replace six bridges and a box culvert along State Route 145 in Prentiss County. The existing timber pile bridges and culvert were built in the 1940s. MDOT engineers placed weight restrictions on each of the bridges which presented safety concerns for the traveling public. The project covers four separate sites.

    Site 1 includes three bridges over Twenty Mile Creek, Wolf Creek and the Wolf Creek Tributary. Two of the bridges are complete through the bridge deck. Guardrails will be installed on each bridge. The third bridge over Wolf Creek Tributary at Site 1 is being demolished. Materials for reconstruction are staged on site. Asphalt will be laid along the construction site. Completion is scheduled this summer.

    Site 2 includes one bridge replacement over Osborne Creek and one box culvert extension. County Road 7090 will be realigned as part of the project. Bridge construction will begin after Site 1 is completed. A signed detour will be in place.

    Site 3, north of State Route 4, will rebuild one bridge over King’s Creek. Site 4, north of Thrasher Road, will replace one bridge with a new box culvert. Sites 3 and Site 4 have a construction timeline of May 2019 to July 2019. Detours will be in place.

    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 public safety issue,” Tagert said. “These projects will increase safety and mobility throughout the region.”

    Bridge maintenance on State Route 178 in Itawamba County

    Work to replace seven bridges along State Route 178 in Itawamba County is on schedule.

    Traffic is moving on the new bridge over Lick Skillet Creek, Gum Creek, Cypress Creek, a relief slough bridge, Hickory Creek and Bull Mountain Creek Bridge.

    At Johns Creek, a temporary detour bridge is in place while crews construct a new, permanent bridge. A second bridge over Johns Creek will be replaced with a box culvert, which is currently under construction.

    “The original bridges were constructed in the 1930s, and they have outlived their serviceable life spans,” Tagert said. “When the project is completed, it will put this section of State Route 178 back in full service.”

    Bridge maintenance on State Route 245 in Lee County

    The existing timber pile bridge, located about two miles south of Shannon on State Route 256, was built in 1934 and has posted weight restrictions. Inspections revealed decaying piles and section loss in the steel girders.

    “The Tubbalubba Creek Bridge has outlived its design life and could become unsafe for the traveling public,” Tagert said. “The new bridge will have a design life of 75 years and will increase commerce and mobility in the area.”

    A detour will be in place on U.S. Highway 45 throughout the project. Traffic will be rerouted at the Shannon exit on the north end of the project and the Okolona exit on the south end.

    The $2.4 million replacement project was awarded to Joe McGee Construction in Lake. The project is expected to be completed in late fall.

    Four-lane expansion on State Route 15 in Pontotoc County

    A $21.5 million construction project to expand State Route 15 in Pontotoc County from two lanes to four will stretch approximately eight miles from State Route 76 north to the Union County line.

    Crews will begin in Ecru, where State Route 15 will be five lanes, with two travel lanes in each direction and a central turn lane when the project is completed.

    From there, crews will construct two new lanes adjacent to the current highway. Earthwork for the two new lanes was completed in October 2017.

    When the two new lanes are completed, traffic will be routed off the existing highway and onto the new lanes. Crews will then mill and overlay the existing lanes.

    The four-lane project also includes replacement or repair of three bridges along the existing highway. On the south end of the project, the Lappatubby Creek Bridge, which was constructed in 1955, will be replaced. The Tanglefoot Trail, which was built in 1971, will be replaced, and the existing roadway will be lowered to a similar grade as the new lanes.

    A third bridge in Ecru crossing the Lappatubby Creek was built in 1971 and will see several repairs and improvements.

    The project was awarded to Talbot Brothers, of Nesbit, in April. The estimated completion will be summer 2020.

    Pavement Preservation Projects

    “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,” Tagert said. “However, pavement preservation projects will improve safety, extend the life of the road surface and postpone costly, full-scale reconstructions.”

    –      Thirteen miles of Interstate 22 in in Lee County through Tupelo will be repaved from U.S. Highway 45 to the Itawamba County line. The $7.9 million project includes ramps and interchanges.

    – A ten-mile section of U.S. Highway 82 in Lowndes County will receive an asphalt overlay from State Route 182 to Catapala Creek. The $6.3 million project is expected to be complete in late fall.

    – A $2.2 million overlay project along State Route 6 in Monroe County will begin this summer. The project will stretch approximately 10 miles from State Route 145 in Nettleton to State Route 25 in Amory.

    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.

    “Workers may be present on these maintenance and construction projects,” Said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “MDOT encourages drivers to slow down in work zones so our crew members can make it home safe to their families.”

    For more information on 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.

  • Four-lane project underway on State Route 15 in Pontotoc County

    A truck passes over the Tanglefoot Trail Bridge on State Route 15 in Pontotoc County. The bridge will be replaced and the grade lowered to match the new bridge in the foreground which built as part of a four-lane project near Ecru.

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will expand a section of State Route 15 in Pontotoc County from two lanes to four.

    The $21.5 million construction project will stretch approximately eight miles from State Route 76 north to the Union County line.

    Crews will begin in Ecru, where State Route 15 will be five lanes, with two travel lanes in each direction and a central turn lane when the project is completed.

    From there crews will construct two new lanes adjacent to the current highway. Earthwork for the two new lanes was completed in October 2017.

    When the two new lanes are completed, traffic will be routed off the existing highway and onto the new lanes. Crews will then mill and overlay the existing lanes.

    The four-lane project also includes replacement or repair of three bridges along the existing highway. On the south end of the project, the Lappatubby Creek Bridge, which was constructed in 1955, will be replaced. The Tanglefoot Trail, which was built in 1971, will be replaced, and the existing roadway will be lowered to a similar grade as the new lanes.

    A third bridge in Ecru crossing the Lappatubby Creek was built in 1971 and will see several repairs and improvements.

    “The project is part of MDOT’s vision to have a four-lane divided highway from Pontotoc to New Albany,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “The section from the Pontotoc County line to New Albany is currently unspecified due to lack of funding.”

    The project was awarded to Talbot Brothers, of Nesbit, in April. It was made possible in part by funding from the Mississippi Development Authority. The estimated completion will be summer 2020.

  • Safety improvements continue at Goodman Road in DeSoto County

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) continues to work on safety improvements at the Interstate 55 intersection with Goodman Road in DeSoto County.

    The intersection averages 41,000 motorists each day.

    When the project is completed in late fall, traffic exiting I-55 will be reconfigured to help alleviate congestion and increase safety.

    “The improvements will improve traffic flow at this high-use intersection,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “Crews have nearly completed the first phase which included substantial drainage work at the interchange.”

    The Goodman Road intersection is being constructed in multiple phases that require the completion of one phase before moving on to the next. Workers are active in different areas of the project site to complete specific steps and minimize the impact to traffic flow.

    Currently, motorists exiting I-55 northbound have two options: turn left at the traffic light or merge right. Some right-turning vehicles must cross three lanes of traffic to access the turn lane for Southcrest Parkway and the hospital.

    When the new configuration is completed, motorists will have three options: turn left at the traffic light, merge right or turn right at a new lane controlled by a traffic light. The new lane will access two dedicated turn lanes to Southcrest Parkway separated by slotted curbs.

    “The new configuration will prevent traffic that is merging right from crossing over to the dedicated turn lanes,” Tagert said.

    A similar configuration will be installed for I-55 southbound traffic accessing Interstate Boulevard where there will be one dedicated turn lane separated by slotted curbs.

    For traffic on Goodman Road, currently motorists heading east have three through lanes and two options to access I-55.

    When the project is completed, motorists will no longer be able to turn left across traffic to access I-55. Instead motorists will have to use the existing right lane entrance to the on-ramp loop. The three through lanes will remain. A similar configuration will be installed for westbound traffic on Goodman Road.

    “By eliminating the option to merge over multiple lanes of traffic and the option to turn left across traffic, the new configuration will decrease conflict points and encourage traffic flow,” Tagert said.

    Crews are preparing to pave several sections of the project before moving on the second phase of the project, which will eliminate the left turns on to I-55.

    Phase 3 will remove existing medians and add slotted curbs. Phase 4 will complete the new right turn bays at both exit ramps.

    The $5.3 million project was awarded to Ferrell Paving, Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., in November 2017.

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

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

  • Project updates in Northwest Mississippi

    An aerial view of Interstate 269 in DeSoto County looking east.

    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,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “It will drive new growth opportunities for DeSoto County and north Mississippi.”

    Heavy rainfall and cold weather in late 2017 have caused delays; however, the final phase of the project is scheduled for completion in fall 2018.

    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. 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 complete, 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.

    State Route 32 bridge replacements in Tallahatchie County

    Work continues on three 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.”

    Near the town of Charleston, the first project replacing two bridges has been completed and opened to traffic since August 2017.

    A second project one mile west 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 third project on State Route 32 replaces three other 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 third project is expected to open to traffic in late summer.

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

    “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.”

    Pavement preservation projects

    Several pavement preservation projects are underway throughout Northwest Mississippi.

    “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,” Tagert said. “However, pavement preservation projects will improve safety, extend the life of the road surface and postpone costly, full-scale reconstructions.”

    –         An $880,000 project on U.S. Highway 49 in Tallahatchie County to overlay highway from U.S. Highway 49 West to the Coahoma County line is nearing completion.

    –         A $4.4 million project on U.S. Highway 49 in Coahoma County will overlay highway from Clarksdale to the Tallahatchie County line. The project is slated for completion in mid-summer.

    –         A $9.6 million project will overlay U.S. Highway 72 in Benton County from the Marshall County line to the Tippah County line. The project is scheduled for completion in late summer.

    –         A $2.3 million project will overlay State Route 4 in Tate County from State Route 305 to the Marshall County line. The project was awarded in late April, and a construction schedule has not been set.

    MDOT has advertised for bids for three other pavement preservation projects on State Route 7 in Leflore County, U.S. Highway 51 in Panola County and State Route 178 in DeSoto County.

    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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  • State Route 245 at Tubbalubba Creek to close for bridge replacement

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation will close a section of State Route 245 in Lee County May 29 for a maintenance project to replace a bridge.

    State Route 245 will be closed in both directions between County Road 130 and County Road 54 during the replacement of Tubbalubba Creek Bridge.

    A detour will be in place on U.S. Highway 45 throughout the project. Traffic will be rerouted at the Shannon exit on the north end of the project and the Okolona exit on the south end.

    The existing timber pile bridge, located about two miles south of Shannon, was built in 1934 and has posted weight restrictions. Inspections revealed decaying piles and section loss in the steel girders.

    “The Tubbalubba Creek Bridge has outlived its design life and could become unsafe for the traveling public,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “The new bridge will have a design life of 75 years and will increase commerce and mobility in the area.”

    The $2.4 million replacement project was awarded to Joe McGee Construction in Lake. The project is expected to be completed in late fall.

    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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