TUPELO, Miss. (Press Release) –The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is moving forward with major construction projects in North Mississippi, announced Commissioner Mike Tagert.
Bridge replacements on State Route 178 in Itawamba County
Work to replace seven bridges along State Route 178 in Itawamba County is on schedule. Construction of four new bridges over Hickory Creek and Bull Mountain Creek is underway. Bridge deck has been poured on one bridge. Forming for the bridge deck has been completed on the second bridge. Beams are being placed on the third bridge, and piling casings are being poured on the fourth.
Crews are working on replacing three other 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 replacement bridges are constructed.
A signed detour route will be in place while construction takes place on this portion of State Route 178. Westbound traffic from Tremont now has access to Patton Flatt Road. The project is expected to be complete in early summer 2019.
“The original bridges were constructed in the 1930s, and they had 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 replacements on State Route 145 in Prentiss County
MDOT is moving forward with plans to replace four bridges along State Route 145 in Prentiss County. Each bridge has weight limit restrictions and presents 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 in late May 2019 and have a milestone completion date of the end of July 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.”
Safety improvements, system preservation in Lee County
Work has started on a Gloster Street safety project in Tupelo. Turn lanes, traffic signal improvements and a mill and asphalt overlay will take place from McCullough Boulevard to Barnes Crossing. Turn lanes will also be added at both the Highway 45 interchange and the Tom Watson Drive intersection.
A high-friction aggregate course will be placed at McCullough Drive to help increase traction and reduce crashes. The new epoxy-based course will be applied on top of the existing concrete that has become smooth over time. In recent years, there has been an increase in wet weather crashes at the intersection.
“After MDOT looked at the number of crashes along this corridor, they identified improvements to increase the safety of the traveling public,” Tagert said. “These improvements will help lower the number of crashes and improve traffic flow.”
To limit impacts to traffic, MDOT expects most of the work requiring lane closures to happen at night. The project is expected to be complete by spring 2019.
A five-mile pavement restoration project is nearing completion on U.S. Highway 45 in Lee County from the county line to north of Brewer Road. Crews have completed asphalt work on the highway lanes, work remains to place the last lift of asphalt on the interchange ramps.
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.”