By Joe Rutherford/NEMS Daily Journal
The date for opening the final leg of the four-lane connection stretching from Batesville to Tupelo has been set for May 30, 2014.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation gave an incorrect date of May 30, 2013, to the Daily Journal on Monday, which was published in the print edition and online today. Officials called the Journal this morning to correct their mistake.
The “pencil-in” date is for the stretch of Mississippi Highway 6/U.S. 278 from Mississippi Highway 342 in Pontotoc County to U.S. 45 in Tupelo.
MDOT District Engineer Bill Jamieson said the May 30, 2014 date has been calculated using the remaining work and expected progress by APAC, the Tupelo-based firm under contract for paving the 10-mile, $26 million segment.
The highway also is designated Corridor V in theAppalachian Development High- way System.
Mississippi and the federal government through ADHS have invested more than $300 million in the corridor as of Sept. 30, 2011, the last official tabulation.
Corridor V has been a work-in-progress for more than a decade.
Jamieson said setting a date-specific completion has become the preferred method because MDOT is using more date-specific contracts rather than time-unit calculations.
Corridor V turns north off U.S. 78 near Fulton and the Mississippi section ends at the state line near Red Bay, Ala.
The corridor continues in Alabama and terminates near Chattanooga.
None of the Mississippi 6 section between Tupelo and Highway 342 (which is near the Black Zion community) is open, but Mississippi 6 is open from 342 to Batesville.
ARC Mississippi director Mike Armour said official notice of the opening is expected about six weeks before completion.