Projects under way to help relieve peak drive traffic on I-55NBy NIKKI ROWELL,
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is moving forward with several projects in south Madison County and North Jackson.
“The focus of the majority of the projects in central Mississippi is safety or system preservation,” Commissioner Dick Hall said. “Because of shortfalls in current transportation funding, the majority of MDOT’s projects reflect the agency’s continued shift from capacity upgrades to system preservation and maintenance.”
Efforts are ongoing to relieve peak drive time congestion on I-55 northbound in Madison County with the addition of a northbound lane on I-55 from U.S. Highway 51 to the Natchez Trace exit ramp.
Work began on the project in October 2018 and is projected to be complete by early-summer 2020.
Several interchange modifications will be made to accommodate the new lane, including widening of the I-55 northbound bridge under the I-220 southbound flyover.
I-55 from County Line Road to the Natchez Trace will also be milled and overlaid, which is underway. Work is complete on the drill shafts, columns and caps for the bridge widening.
Excavation and related dirt work for the new lane is underway.
Key Constructors LLC of Madison was awarded the approximately $12.3 million construction contract for the project.
Lane closures will be necessary. However, most lane closures will take place at night to reduce the impact to the traveling public.
Two bridges across the Ross Barnett Reservoir will be replaced with precast box culverts.
The southbound lane will be closed daily from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., including weekends, until May 24.
On May 28, State Route 43 will be closed to traffic completely for the removal of the bridges and placement of the box culverts.
A detour route will be in place, according to MDOT. The project is planned for completion later this summer.
The approximately $3.3 million construction contract was awarded to T.L. Wallace Construction of Columbia.
Work zones impact traffic, so for more information on navigating work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.
For more information on these projects and other MDOT maintenance and construction projects, visit MDOTtraffic.com.