Thoroughfare work blocks Mount Vernon Road for weeks

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Construction of the northern loop dissected Mount Vernon Road on Monday, pinching off the street to passing motorists and forcing wide detours.
It will remain closed for approximately three weeks.
Workers blocked Mount Vernon at the city limits, just north of Native Son Farm. Those needing through access must go around: either from McCullough to County Road 183 and then to County Road 1740; or from North Gloster Street to Birmingham Ridge Road.
“I know it’s inconvenient, but it has to be done,” said Alfred Freeny, project superintendent for Phillips Contracting of Columbus.
The crew ripped large chunks from the road Monday to begin laying drainage pipes for the northern loop, the new five-lane road connecting west Tupelo to the Barnes Crossing shopping district. The road crosses Mount Vernon, as well as U.S. 78 and the Natchez Trace Parkway. It’s a project of the Major Thoroughfare Program.
After Mount Vernon reopens at the city limits, construction there will continue for several more weeks without the roadblocks.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said Horton Nash, who owns Isis Gardens, an organic farm located on Mount Vernon north of the roadblock. “It will be inconvenient for people who come for on-farm pickups.”
Horton said neither he nor his business partner, Genevieve Yeakel, knew about the road closure until Monday morning. They likely will haul their produce to town during the disruption instead of asking clients to travel through the detours.
The roadblock also apparently surprised some motorists as well.
“I’ve had people getting testy with me today,” Freeny said before heading back to his work.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.