HINDS COUNTY — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced an upcoming construction project along I-55 South from the Copiah County line to McDowell Road in Hinds County.
Due to the aging pavement, congestion and the high traffic volume on I-55 South, MDOT has contracted Florence and Hutcheson to prepare environmental documents and plans for a project to replace the existing pavement and add lanes to I-55 South.
This project would add two additional lanes between Terry and McDowell roads for a total of six lanes.
Additional lanes will not be added between the Hinds/Copiah County line and Terry. From the Hinds/Copiah County line northward to Terry, the project will only require removal and replacement of the existing pavement. In this section of I-55, the interstate will remain a four-lane facility.
“It did not make sense to overlay this existing roadway one more time. That would be a case of throwing good money after bad,” says Central Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “Even though it is going to cost a lot more reconstructing this highway and adding lanes, this is a much better expenditure of the taxpayers’ money.”
The existing composite or concrete pavement will be removed and replaced with asphalt paving.
The current schedule calls for letting the project in the spring of 2012 with an estimated construction cost of $80 million. While plan development has just started, it is anticipated that 24–30 months will be required to complete the project.
This project is the first phase of a planned ultimate project that would also address the existing interchanges and frontage roads within the area.