Regional highway projects move forward

By Emily Le Coz | NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The state Department of Transportation has more than $231 million worth of active road projects throughout Northeast Mississippi, including major construction in Pontotoc and Lee counties.
The department recently issued an update of its ongoing work, which shows progress along several well-traveled corridors. Among the projects are
* Mississippi Highway 9 near Pontotoc – a rerouted, four-lane, limited access highway stretching for 10 miles and paid for by Mississippi Development Authority bonds as part of the Toyota incentive package. Eutaw Construction won the $87.5 million project, which began in July and was slated for completion in December 2012. But work is 40 percent ahead of schedule and could wrap up by August, said Bill Jamieson, MDOT district engineer.
* Mississippi Highway 6 – a new section of the highway from the Natchez Trace Parkway to South Gloster Street in Tupelo. Hill Brothers Construction won the $29.3 million project, which began in January 2009 and is expected to end in January. Another contract will begin afterward to pave the new stretch of highway.
“In about a year and a half it will be done,” Jamieson said. “By summer 2013 or early 2014 it should be done.”
* Mississippi Highway 15 in Union County – a five-lane section from King’s Creek to the north city limits of New Albany, which will be paved, from the north city limits to North Haven. Talbot Brothers Construction won the $18 million project, which began in April 2010 and is scheduled for completion in July.
* Mississippi Highway 15 from North Haven to Tippah County – two new lanes adjacent to a six-mile section of existing Highway 15. Colom Construction won the $5.6 million project, which began in March and should end in August. Another contract will begin afterward to pave the new lanes.
* U.S. 78 Marshall County – a project to bring a section of U.S. 78 up to interstate standards in preparation of its becoming I-22. Lehman Roberts won the $39.9 million project, which began this spring and should end in June 2013. Work includes a new foundation and asphalt, guard rail, signing, pavement markings, drainage repairs and a traffic management center.
* U.S. 78 Project in Marshall County – a project to bring a section of U.S. 78 up to interstate standards in preparation of its becoming I-22. The Rogers Group won the $21.3 million project, which began in May and will end in November. It includes overlaying the existing roadway, new pavement markings and signs, and upgrades to the median. In addition, the entrance and exit ramps at the intersection with SR4/7 will be extended to meet current interstate standards.
* I-269 in Marshall County – the first leg of I-269 from the Tennessee state line to just south of State Road 302. Tanner Construction won the $19.5 million project, which will end in October 2013.
In Mississippi, I-269 will begin at the Intersection of I-55 and I-69 north of Hernando, cross Highway 78 near Byhalia and continue northeast to the Tennessee state Line. This project is one section of the planned nationwide I-69 project.
* Mississippi Highway 72 in Marshall County – widen and overlay about 12 miles from west of State Road 302 to the Benton County line. Standard Construction Company won the $6 million project, which is scheduled for completion in June.
* Bridge Replacement in Marshall County – replace the bridge just south of Potts Camp on State Road 349. Talbot Brothers Construction and Grading won the $3.9 million project, which is scheduled for completion in October.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com