Relief for I-55N traffic congestion coming soonBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Relief is in the near FUTURE for the traffic congestion that occurs on Interstate 55 in Madison County at peak drive times, particularly after 5 p.m.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) project under construction includes widening, milling and the overlay of I-55 northbound from County Line Road to the Natchez Trace Parkway along with widening the I-55 northbound flyover under the I-220 bridge.
The project is scheduled to be completed before summer 2020.
This stretch of I-55 sees an average of 116,000 to 119,000 vehicles per day, according to MDOT Public Information Officer Mike Flood,
“There is a bottleneck that develops during peak drive times on I-55 northbound entering Madison County,” Central Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said. “This project will widen the interstate and relieve the current bottleneck, which will decrease congestion and drive times and improve safety for the traveling public.”
“While we cannot determine how much time the widening of I-55 north will save motorists on their commutes, we do know that the project will significantly reduce congestion and decrease drive times during weekly afternoon commutes,” Flood said. “Most importantly, from a safety standpoint, the project will improve driving conditions.”
He added that the project will increase capacity on I-55 north by providing an additional northbound lane from the I-55 northbound ramp to the I-220 southbound exit ramp and I-55 northbound to the Natchez Trace exit ramp, in addition to widening the bridge of I-55 over the I-220 eastbound to I-55 northbound ramp.
“The ramps at the I-55 northbound to I-220 southbound and I-55 northbound to the Natchez Trace interchanges will be modified to incorporate this additional lane,” Flood said. “In short, more vehicles will be able to travel this stretch during peak drive times.”
He added that the project also includes milling and overlaying of the I-55 northbound lanes from County Line Road to the Natchez Trace, the west frontage road between Old Agency Road and Steed Road, the roundabout at Old Agency, the northeast loop from I-55 to Old Agency, the northwest loop from Old Agency to I-55 and the southwest ramp from Old Agency to I-55.
“This project will significantly reduce congestion and increase safety on a heavily traveled section of I-55 in the Jackson-Metro area,” Hall has said. “We ask for the traveling public’s patience as this project progresses and urge motorists to exercise extreme caution by slowing down and avoiding distractions in construction zones.”
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.