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Highway 49 safety project advancing

Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall announced the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is on schedule with the U.S. Highway 49 Improvement Project in Rankin County.

“Work on the U.S. Highway 49 project is advancing as well as possible given the amount of rain we’ve seen in the last few months,” Hall said. “Crews are working to finish this project in a timely manner, but construction of a project this size takes time. We continue to ask the traveling public’s patience.”

The contractor plans to shift traffic to the inside in the coming weeks. Once traffic is shifted, the median crossovers will be closed and U-turns at intersections will be restricted throughout the project.

Crews continue to install new drainage structures along U.S. Highway 49. Reconstruction of the outside lanes and work on two new bridges – one just south of State Route 469 and one just north of Lyle Machinery – is underway.

A temporary detour around the Richland Creek Bridge is in place. Damage to the bridge was discovered by MDOT Bridge Inspectors last month, and the detour is necessary for crews to make repairs to the bridge.

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, of Philadelphia, was awarded the approximately $147.5 million construction contract. Work began in November 2017 and is expected to be complete in summer 2021.

“This section of U.S. Highway 49 is one of the most heavily traveled commuter and commercial corridors in the state,” said Hall. “This project will provide an improved travel experience for the traveling public, as well as increase efficiency for commercial vehicles moving goods and services throughout the state.”

photo courtesy of MDOT
photo courtesy of MDOT

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