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Infrastructure Improvement Projects Move Forward Across Central Mississippi

State Route 18 bridge replacement in Rankin County
State Route 18 bridge replacement in Rankin County
Mill and overlay of SR 19 in Lauderdale County
Mill and overlay of SR 19 in Lauderdale County
NEWTON, MS — Commissioner Willie Simmons, Central Transportation District, announces updates to several Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects across central Mississippi.

“Each of these projects show a vital investment into our infrastructure that will make our state a better place to live and work,” Simmons said. “I look forward to seeing these projects continue moving forward and ultimately increasing safety and mobility for all central Mississippi traffic.”

Progress Continues at the State Route 18 Bridge Replacement in Rankin County
Crews continue to make significant progress on the State Route 18 bridge being replaced over Dabbs Creek in Rankin County. With the bridge deck built, crews will focus on pouring the rails, completing dirt work, and building the roadway to tie into the new bridge.

The nearly $3 million project was awarded to St-Bil Grading, Inc. of Waterford. SR 18 is on track to reopen by the end of 2023, and the remainder of the project is scheduled to be completed spring 2024.

I-59/20 Improvements Wrap Up in Lauderdale County
A design-build project through Meridian that involved widening the I-59/20 bridges over State Route 19/39 and 65th Avenue, as well as removal of the bridges over Knight Parker Road, has been completed. The project also upgraded lighting throughout Meridian along I-59/I-20.

The $24.4 million design-build project was awarded to Key Construction Company of Madison.

MDOT Reworking Construction Plans for West Rankin Parkway
MDOT is currently working to update construction plans for the West Rankin Parkway. The project calls for the construction of a divided four-lane highway between U.S. 80 in Pearl and State Route 468 in Flowood, including base construction, drainage installations, electrical installations, and modifications to U.S. 80, SR 468, and Treetops Boulevard. The new contract, once let, will include all the necessary repairs along with the original paving scope of work.

The West Rankin Parkway project began as a Local Public Agency (LPA) project years ago. MDOT’s involvement at that time was helping administer necessary federal funds toward the local project. Later, dispersive soil was found throughout the project, forcing crews to go back and perform more dirt work, changing the overall scope of work. That contract was terminated, which allows MDOT to re-bid a different contract that will include repairs to the roadbed and ultimately move forward to the paving phase and open State Route 477 for travel.

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“In an effort to expedite what has been a problematic project, we have worked closely with the City of Pearl, the City of Flowood, the Mississippi Legislature, and the Governor, who signed a bill that gives MDOT more flexibility and funds to get this project to construction,” Simmons said. “Thanks to all the players involved, we have added the project to MDOT’s three year plan and are moving forward with the planning.”

Officials expect plans to be complete in the spring of 2024 and anticipate letting the project later that summer.

State Route 19 Expansion Progress in Neshoba County
Progress continues on the 4.6-mile expansion of State Route 19 from two to four lanes between Tucker and Philadelphia in Neshoba County. The first phase of work included construction of the new northbound lanes, reworked side roads onto the west side of the existing SR 19, and construction of the new intersection at Tucker Elementary School.

Work in progress includes clearing and grubbing, removal of topsoil, installation of erosion control items, excavation, box bridge construction, pipe installation, and soil-cement and lime treatment of the subgrade. The subbase has been treated with soil-cement, and asphalt has been placed in several areas.

The second phase of work consists of rehabilitating portions of the existing SR 19 and reconstructing other areas that require new cross drains and box culverts. The third phase will place traffic in the four-lane configuration, place the final lift of asphalt, and provide permanent striping.

The $36 million contract was awarded to W.G. Yates and Sons Construction of Philadelphia. The project is expected to wrap up in 2024.

Roundabout Being Planned for SR 15 and SR 16 Intersection in Philadelphia
Next summer, MDOT plans to let a project calling for the construction of a dual-lane roundabout at the intersection of State Route 15 and State Route 16 in Philadelphia. The project will also include the replacement of two bridges located on Weyerhaeuser Street and Lakeside Drive.

Designs include future modifications planned for State Route 885 in Philadelphia. SR 885 connects SR 16 to SR 15 in the vicinity of Tolbert Chevrolet. The connector road will be reconfigured to allow one-way traffic from south to north and will reduce the potential for accidents and delays at the SR 16 intersection.

“I commend Sen. Jenifer Branning, Highways and Transportation Chairman, and the Legislature for working with us and getting this project moving,” Simmons said. “With the circular design, traffic will flow seamlessly, minimizing the chance of severe accidents and improving the overall safety and operation. Along with a smoother traffic flow, drivers will experience reduced wait times, leading to less frustration and easier commutes.”

Once let for construction, the roundabout will replace the existing traditional intersection of SR 15 and SR 16, reducing the risk of high speed, right angle collisions. MDOT officials plan to begin the Right of Way acquisition and utility relocation process later this year.

Mill and Overlay of SR 19 in Lauderdale County
A mill and overlay of five miles of SR 19 from 0.5 miles north of North Hills Street to 0.2 miles north of State Route 494 is underway. The scope of work also includes safety improvements to the intersections of SR 494 and SR 19 and State Boulevard Extension and SR 19, removal of debris from existing drainage structures, random clearing of trees on right-of-way to improve sight distance, repairing failed areas in the existing pavement, replacement of guardrail, replacement of signs, and resealing of bridge joints.

Intersection modifications at SR 494 and the State Boulevard Extension are complete. Mainline paving is underway.

The $5.4 million contract was awarded to APAC-Mississippi, Inc. Remaining work is expected to wrap up by the winter.

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