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Troubled Delta highway project back underway

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — Work is resuming on a four-lane project to link Cleveland and Ruleville.

The work on Mississippi 8 has hits some snags since 2009.

Kevin Magee, a Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer, tells the Bolivar Commercial problems with rain, drought and contractors are no longer issues.

Magee said the final phase of the project has been awarded to Tanner Construction Company of Laurel.

MDOT has released a tentative completion timeframe of the early summer of 2014.

“The final phase of the project consists of some dirt work, building a second bridge over the Sunflower River, chemical stabilization, installing and repairing box culverts and asphalt paving,” Magee said.

During chemical stabilization, powdered cement is mixed with dirt to provide a more stable base to the top paving.

“We have found over the years that chemical stabilization performs much better than untreated,” said Magee.

While the process has really become standard practice, it does have its own disadvantages.

“The main disadvantage to the process is that it is temperature sensitive,” Magee added. “Because of this it really cuts into the construction season. While dependent on the Mississippi Delta winters, you can pretty much guarantee that the stabilization process cannot not be performed from late fall to early spring.”

Magee said once the work is completed and passes inspection, traffic can start using the new four-lane highway.

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