The Mississippi Department of Transportation has several projects in the works on highways in south Mississippi, including some in Jones, Jasper and Forrest counties.
“Each one of them is geared toward improving driver safety and increasing Mississippians’ quality of life,” said Tom King, commissioner of the Southern Transportation District.
The following is a summary of ongoing projects in the area:
• Bridge improvements in four locations on Interstate 59 in Jones and Jasper counties is under way. The $14.7 million job was awarded to Key Constructors, LLC, of Madison. The bridges are located at Exits 78, 90 and 93 in Jones County, and at mile-marker 112 in Jasper County. Crews are working to add shoulders to the existing bridges and improve clearance underneath them.
Work is on schedule at each location and is nearing completion at the Exit 78 site. This project is estimated to be completed in winter 2021.
• An interchange construction project on Interstate 59 at State Route 42 in Forrest County continues making progress. Work on West Frontage Road has been completed and traffic has been shifted onto the new roadway. Crews have paved the new interchange ramps and work to complete them continues. Once the ramps are opened, work on the newly constructed bridge will resume.
Once complete, this 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 frontage roads on each side of the interstate. The goal is to relieve drive time congestion and increase driver safety.
This $24.2 million construction project was awarded to Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC, of Laurel. It is estimated to be completed in spring 2021.
• A $41 million safety improvement project on U.S. 49 continues in Forrest County. The project stretches from the Stone County line to South Gate Road.
Clearing of the right-of-way is complete, and crews are moving forward on the placement of erosion-control measures. Crews are also working on the drainage system, widening the highway’s southbound lane’s shoulder, and are constructing retaining walls.
Work on this project also includes regrading the roadway and median for better sight distance.
This project was awarded to T.L. Wallace Construction and is expected to be completed fall 2022.