Pine Belt in midst of $143M in MDOT road projects

Six Mississippi Department of Transportation road projects in the Pine Belt worth $143 million...
Six Mississippi Department of Transportation road projects in the Pine Belt worth $143 million are either wrapping up, underway or about to start.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 3:11 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Two “major” road projects in the Pine Belt are expected to wrap up over the next month.

But that still will leave at least three projects underway with a fourth set to start in October.

The total investment made for the six, Mississippi Department of Transportation projects in the Pine Belt: $143 million.

“We;re proud to see many major infrastructure projects come to completion this summer, especially two major drawbridge projects along the MIssissippi Gulf Coast,” said Tom King, Southern Transportation District commissioner. “We’re dedicated to improving the safety and efficiency of our infrastructure around the state.

“The completion of these bridge projects, as well as as well as many other major projects in the area, enhance the well-being of the traveling public as well as supply-chain proficiency.”

More than three-quarters of the funding, nearly $108 million, had been invested in two projects.

The first was a $66.7 million “safety improvement” project on Interstate 59 in Forrest County. The project was drawn up to cover 14 miles, running north from the Lamar County line to just south of Moselle.

Currently, the southbound lanes are being cracked and smoothed over before a final overlay is applied, while slope construction and grass planting continue along the northbound side.

The project, awarded to Dunn Roadbuilders of Laurel, is expected to be completed in 2024.

Another large chunk of the funding, $41 million, was awarded for another safety improvement project in Forrest County, this one along U.S. Highway 98.

The project stretches from the Stone County line to South Gate Road. Curb and gutter work has been completed and pavement currently is being laid in the crossovers.

The project, which is nearing completion, was awarded to T.L. Wallace Construction of Columbia and is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2023.

Four other projects are in various stages, including

  • Mississippi 42 bridge over the Tallahalla Creek replacement in Perry County

The $17 million project, awarded to Cotton Creek Transport of Laurel, is scheduled to begin in October.

  • A mill-and-overlay project will provide a new surface for a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 98 to the Forrest County/Lamar County line

All the heavy lifting has been done by Dunn Roadbuilders, with only ‘punch list’ items left to wrap up the $11 million project.

  • Overlay of 23 1/3 miles of Mississippi 503 in Jasper County is underway, running from Mississippi 528 to the Newton County line.

The $3.3 million contract was awarded to Dunn Roadbuilders and is expected to finish this fall.

  • Intersection improvement project in Wayne County on U.S. 84 at Reservoir Road/Magnolia Hill Road and MIssissippi 184.

Work continues at the intersection, but traffic signals are installed and working and permanent striping is in place.

The $4 million project was awarded to R&J Construction Company, Inc., of Laurel and is expected to wrap up this fall.

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