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When will road construction be finished across the Coast? Here’s an update on the projects

A road grader works its way down the median of I-10 in Ocean Springs in 2010 where the road is being widened.
A road grader works its way down the median of I-10 in Ocean Springs in 2010 where the road is being widened. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

The Mississippi Department of Transportation announced updates Wednesday on five projects across South Mississippi.

MDOT commissioner Tom King said the emphasis with these projects will be to improve “safety, efficiency and mobility.”

I-10 in Jackson County

The widening of Interstate 10 to six lanes between Ocean Springs and Vancleave is winding down. The lanes have been widened and there are now three lanes each way. Six bridges along I-10 were widened as part of the project.

Installation of overhead sign trusses remain before the new lanes can be opened to traffic.

Estimated completion: Early spring

Red Creek bridge

The Route 57 bridge over Red Creek in Jackson County was closed after being struck by a truck carrying a track hoe in September 2017. After a $7.7 million contract was awarded in January, construction is now set to begin.

The new bridge will be concrete and accessible to all forms of traffic.

Estimated completion: Late summer 2019

Lamey Bridge roundabout

The state Route 15 roundabout at Lamey Bridge Road in Harrison County is nearing completion. All that’s left now for the project, which began in March 2017, is signage and surrounding ground cover.

“Roundabouts promote a continuous one-way flow of traffic and have fewer points of conflict than a traditional intersection,” King said in the release. “This makes roundabouts safer and more efficient than stop-controlled or signalized intersections.”

Estimated completion: Late March

More bridge projects

MDOT reports there are multiple bridge projects underway along the Coast, including an $8.5 million project to replace five bridges along U.S. 49 between Brooklyn to Camp Shelby. Those projects are expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

▪ There’s also a $1.55 million project to repair the the State Route 26 bridge across the Pearl River in Pearl River County. It’s expected to be finished by the end of spring.

▪ Two bridges on Interstate 59 — Leaf River in Jones County and Bouie River in Forrest County — are being repainted and should be done by the summer. The paint, according to MDOT, will help preserve and protect the bridges from weathering and moisture.

▪ This spring, preservation work will begin on the I-10 bridge over the East Pascagoula River in Jackson County. The work will stabilize two settled bents on the bridge. Monitoring equipment will also be installed to alert MDOT if the bets move in the future. MDOT says that while replacing the bridge would cost more than $500 million, the current project will cost just over $579,000 and will “restore” the bridge’s original lifespan of 75 years. The project will be complete by the summer.

▪ The Tchoutacabouffa River bridge at state Route 15 will undergo repairs beginning this spring. MDOT reports replacing the bridge would have cost at least $19 million to bring the bridge back to its original 75-year lifespan, but the repairs will cost $2.75 million.

Safety and pavement

Safety and pavement projects include:

▪  Reconstruction of a portion of State Route 43 between Picayune and Henleyfield to remove sharp curves; summer completion date.

▪  A $5.3 million pavement rehabilitation will start this spring on state Route 63 in George County, starting at the Jackson County line; fall completion date.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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