PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation is working on millions of dollars worth of projects, which state officials say are improving safety for motorists in the Pine Belt.
“The purpose of these projects is safety, of course and that’s our number one priority at [the Mississippi Department of Transportation],” said Tom King, southern district transportation commissioner. “We do the best we can under the circumstances and utilize our funding well and we put safety projects first, before any other projects.”
Among the projects underway is the resurfacing of Highway 98, from Highway 35 South to the Walthall County line.
The cost of that work is $3.8 million, and the completion date is fall of 2020.
Also, preservation work is being done on a bridge near Collins.
The concrete columns on the Highway 84 bridge over the Okatoma Creek are being repaired and the creek channel is being altered slightly to prevent erosion.
The budget for that project is $1.8 million and it is also scheduled for completion in 2020.
South of Hattiesburg, a project is ongoing to add a shoulder to the southbound lane of Highway 49.
That work began earlier this year and will be finished in 2022.
The budget for that work is about $40 million, but 80% of the cost is being covered by the federal government.
“We’ll be putting a shoulder on that like we did from Mount Olive all the way to the Forrest County line,” King said. “So, now, we’re going from Camp Shelby all the way to Stone County.”
And just a few weeks ago, MDOT completed four local road improvement projects in the Seminary and Collins areas.
All of those roads intersect with Highway 49.
That work was done for about $2 million.