After weeks of little activity in the construction area on I-10 in Jackson County, drivers were surprised Sunday night when traffic backed up in the westbound lanes as crews began paving work.
Expect the paving and the slowdowns to continue for a month, said Chase Elkins, public affairs officer for Mississippi State Troop K, Biloxi.
Paving is limited to 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights, said Michael Flood, public information officer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Those days and times were determined to have the lowest traffic flow, he said.
“Traffic can still get bad during those times,” he said, and drivers should expect slowdowns well before the construction area. Traffic will be narrowed to one lane at various locations between Ocean Springs exit 50 and Vancleave exit 57 during the paving.
Closures will be no longer than two miles to limit the amount of interstate closed at one time, he said, and help keep lanes that aren’t being worked open as passable.
“Digital Message Boards along I-10 are currently active and in place to alert drivers of lane closures and other work ahead,” Flood said, and despite the rainy weather, crews are ahead of schedule.
The $40 million project began in 2016 and Flood said paving is expected to be done by October and the anticipated completion date is February as crews widen six bridges and and add one lane in each direction. Mallette Brothers Construction is the contractor.
MDOT traffic management centers across the state are open 24/7 and send mobile alerts when a section of road becomes congested, Flood said. Drivers should monitor MDOT’s Twitter alerts and traffic reports, download the MDOT mobile app or dial 511 for updates, he said.
Get MDOT reports
Traffic reports are available 24/7 from MDOT. Link to these options at https://www.mdottraffic.com/landing.aspx
Dial 511 by phone for updates
Download the MDOT Traffic App free at the App Store or Google Play
Monitor Twitter alerts @MississippiDOT