MDOT announces construction plans for I-55 and I-20 through Jackson

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:21 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For years, your daily drive to work on Interstate 55 or Interstate 20 in Jackson has most likely included several dips, bumps, and jumps.

Now, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Michael Flood, your daily commute is about to get a lot smoother, but will require patience.

“This is going to have a major traffic impact here in Jackson. I-20, is the most heavily traveled corridor in our state, so this is going to have a major impact on traffic,” Flood said.

Roughly 120,000 vehicles travel on Jackson’s I-55 and I-20 connections every day. In doing so, the roads have aged poorly over the years.

“Yeah, so, I-20 here in Jackson really needs this pavement rehabilitation. We hear from the public about it, I’m sure you guys do as well, this project has been a long time coming it really needs to get done. It’s very necessary to us and the traveling public. We want to keep I-20 safe, smooth and passable,” Flood said.

So the question is: how does a crew go about repaving and remodeling these long stretches of interstate as quick as possible, with minimum disruption to Mississippi’s busiest corridor?

Flood says it will be similar to previous MDOT projects on I-20 that involved shutting down one side of the interstate at a time.

“The reason for the extended closure is to get it all done at once. If we were to just do say overnight closures, this would drag it out for a month, possibly months,” he explained.

Not only will the current method take less time, but it will also be much safer for workers to operate without vehicles passing directly by them.

Some nights, you’ve most likely found yourself struggling to realize if you’re in the correct lane or not due to faded lane-lines, but Flood says MDOT is checking all the boxes.

“In addition to upgrading the pavement and making it smoother, all of the pavement markers, the striping, the reflectors that you see in the center of the interstate, all of that will be upgraded as well,” he said.

While most people don’t enjoy sitting in construction traffic, Flood says this project is much needed and will be well worth the wait.

“Really, I-20 is going to see a major upgrade this year. Both I-20 and 55, by about the end of this year, will have much safer and smoother riding conditions,” he explained.

Flood says construction will take place sometime in May or June.

MDOT plans to release the full itinerary sometime in April, and it will include confirmed dates of construction, as well as official detour routes.

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