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Road Projects Move Forward in Southern Mississippi

Along with adding a stop light, crews will work to realign SR 42 West to match with the rest of the road located across the highway.
Along with adding a stop light, crews will work to realign SR 42 West to match with the rest of the road located across the highway.
HATTIESBURG, MS — Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District, announces updates to Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects in south Mississippi.

“The projects underway are geared towards two major things, improving safety and economic impact,” King said. “As the population grows throughout the southern district, we continue work on projects that will increase the quality of life and decrease traffic hazards.”

Interchange Construction on Interstate 59 at State Route 42 in Forrest County

This approximately $24.2-million construction project was awarded to Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC of South Mississippi. The project will relieve drive time congestion and increase driver safety in Forrest County.

The project will reconfigure entrance and exit ramps at the Evelyn Gandy Parkway exit on I-59, construct a wider bridge on State Route 42 and add two frontage roads on each side of the interstate.

“After taking a closer look at this area, we realized with the amount of people using the existing bridge and exit ramps already in place, traffic was becoming increasingly worse,” said Melinda McGrath, PE, MDOT Executive Director. “With the construction of this interchange, MDOT can ensure people get to their destinations quicker and safer.”

Earthwork is underway for the South East Frontage Road, as crews work to clear and remove trees from the area. Work is also being done on the east overpass retaining wall.

Once complete, this project will also have a positive economic impact for the area. It is estimated to be completed in spring 2021.

Intersection Improvements on U.S. Highway 49 at SR 42 West in Forrest County

Construction recently began at the intersection of U.S. Highway 49 and SR 42 West in Forrest County to add a stop light and improve driving conditions.

Along with adding a stop light, crews will work to realign SR 42 West to match with the rest of the road located across the highway.

“Sumrall is growing rapidly, and many people use SR 42 West to get to and from work each day, but this influx of commuters causes frequent backups,” King said. “We want to prevent these unwanted backups, and after much research we have determined adding a light is the best option to clear up congestion.”

Work began in late August, and a large portion of the trees in the area have been cleared. The $3-million project was awarded to T.L. Wallace Construction Inc., of Columbia, and is expected to be completed in fall of 2020.

Bridge Improvements on I-59 and SR 512 in Clarke County

In Clarke County, two bridge replacement projects are underway.

A $9.9-million project is underway on three sites along I-59 to make improvements. The contractor is Key, LLC, of Madison, and work is ahead of schedule and expected to be completed by winter of this year.

There is also a $1.9-million project underway on SR 512. Work started in late August and should wrap up in spring of 2020. The project’s contractor is T.L Wallace Construction, Inc.

Overlay Projects in George and Jackson Counties

In Jackson County, a $2-million project was awarded to Mallette Brothers Construction Company, Inc., of Gautier, to complete a thin lift overlay on SR 57 from the north right of way of I-10 to Ratliff Road, which is seven miles long. Work is currently on schedule and expected to be completed in late fall of 2019.

In George County, Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC, was awarded a $1.3-million contract to complete a seal and overlay project on SR 198 from U.S. Highway 98 to SR 26, stretching five miles. Work is on schedule and is expected to be finished in late fall of 2019.

Construction zones present new traffic patterns and configurations that can cause confusion for some motorists. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, go to GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

“Workers may be present on these maintenance and construction projects,” McGrath said. “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, go to MDOTtraffic.com.

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