By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Starting Tuesday, parts of traffic lanes on Highway 45 will be closed for a construction project.
The state Department of Transportation on Friday said it will begin work at 8 a.m. Tuesday on a new cable barrier in the median. The cables currently are on Highway 78 and are used to prevent vehicles from crossing the median and entering other lanes of traffic.
The project covers a 3.5 mile-stretch from Eason Boulevard to the Verona exit on the highway. Bill Jamieson and Jamie McDonald of MDOT said employees will start at the southern end of the project and will work north in sections. The left lanes of Highway 45 will be closed in each section they are working in.
The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph in the construction zone and speeding fines will be doubled, officials said.
The project is expected to take six months, depending on weather. It’s part of a larger project to install cable barriers from Shannon to Saltillo. Jamieson said the road is wide enough in the rest of the project so only the shoulders will be closed, not the lanes.
MDOT is paying Simmons Erosion Control $3,439,494.29 for the entire project.