Construction on Sam Cooper to begin after holidays - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Construction on Sam Cooper to begin after holidays

(WMC-TV) – A major project will begin on Sam Cooper Boulevard after the holidays. That means headaches for drivers east of the city could continue next year.

Tennessee Department of Transportation crews are starting to make way for the new I-40/I-240 interchange.

"They're planning for it, after the holidays, closing Sam Cooper down to one lane," said Nichole Lawrence, TDOT. "That closure will last approximately 12 to 15 months."

That is bad news for drivers who already use the busy roadway.

"If there's ever any kind of accident, or small accident it just backs all the way up," said Grady Doyle.

Once work on Sam Cooper begins, people will likely start looking for alternate routes to avoid the future mess.

Summer Avenue, Macon Road, and Walnut Grove also run east and west, but drivers say those roads already get backed up.

"It's kind of already an issue as it is, but when it goes down to one lane, we're going to be delayed quite a bit," added Doyle.

On Friday, the state will open the final leg of Highway 385. The new highway should provide some traffic relief ahead of the upcoming construction, but drivers will need to get used to the new road.

"I'm not going to always want to go that way, I don't mind coming that way during the day time but at night I don't want to go that way, it's too dark," said Denise Jackson.

TDOT says drivers can expect to see those changes on Sam Cooper Boulevard get going after the holidays.

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