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The Sun Herald is looking ahead at transportation issues in 2007. Here's a look at major road construction projects in progress:
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Bay of St. Louis Bridge
Status: Work to get two-lane traffic on the bridge by May 16 is about 50 percent complete, according to Granite Archer Western. Cost: $266.8 million. Completion date: Two lanes open by May, and project complete November.
Biloxi Bay Bridge
Status: GC Constructors has torn down about 40 percent of the old bridge and has several waterline footings in place for the new bridge. It's also begun building the columns for the 95-foot navigation channel. Cost: $338.6 million. Completion date: Two lanes open by Nov. 13, and project complete April 16, 2008.
Beach Boulevard (Bay St. Louis)
Status: Compton Engineering, a local firm, has begun design work on the project. The project will run south of U.S. 90 for about 1.25 miles, just south of the railroad tracks. Estimated cost: The roadwork should be in the ballpark of $10 million, but that does not include seawall restoration and utility relocation costs. Estimated completion date: Total construction time still uncertainbecause of right-of-way acquisition questions and utility rerouting.
U.S. 90 (Harrison County)
Status: Contracts will be awarded next summer to restore the highway to pre-Katrina condition, including repaving the highway and repairing parking bays, cross-overs and curbs. A networked traffic-signal system will help move traffic more effectively. Two landscaping contracts have been awarded, and work is expected to start in the spring. Estimated cost: MDOT has spent $30 million so far and requested another $50 million. Estimated completion date: 18-24 months.
Interstate 310/Canal Road Connector
Estimated cost: $300 million. Estimated completion date: 4-5 years after project designed.
East Harrison County Connector
Status: MDOT has federal approval for the route, but the funding has not been established. It is a HELP candidate. The Biloxi City Council voted in December, asking it be rerouted using the Popp's Ferry Road corridor. Estimated cost: $300 million. Estimated completion date: Right-of-way acquisition would take 2-3 years, with another five years of construction.
Mississippi 601/Canal Road
Status: MDOT is wrapping up environmental studies with public hearings scheduled for early 2007. The eventual route of the highway, which would relieve traffic problems on U.S. 49, is still up in the air, but it would tie back into U.S. 49 somewhere around or south of Wiggins. Estimated cost: $300 million. Estimated completion date: Environmental studies and federal approval will take 1-2 years, with 8-10 years of construction.
Mississippi 67 (Interstate 110 to Mississippi 605)
Status: MDOT awarded the second phase of the contract to Warren Paving for $37.5 million in November. It includes all paving and some additional drainage and dirt work. TCB Construction completed the initial grading phase of the 10.5-mile project in August. Cost: $53 million. Estimated completion date: Early 2009.
Mississippi 605 (Lorraine Road to Mississippi 67)
Status: Ribbon-cutting is planned before the end of the year.
Cost: $16 million. Estimated completion date: Dec. 20 ribbon-cutting.
Mississippi 67 (Mississippi 605 to U.S. 49)
Status: Huey Stockstill of Picayune is paving the road now, placing intermediate layers of asphalt on the 8-mile project. Cost: $18.85 million. Estimated completion date: November 2007.
- DON HAMMACK