Drivers along I-55 in DeSoto County, especially those who travel at night, will need to be aware of new roadwork expected to start next week that may impact their traveling.
Paving work on both northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate will start on Monday, June 19, in the area between the Church Road exit in Southaven and the Pleasant Hill exit near Nesbit.
According to information received from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the paving work will mean that alternating lane closures will be needed to be done, however, all of the paving work will be done in the evening and overnight hours.
The project is expected to be finished by the early part of July, according to MDOT.
Starting Monday night, lane closures will take place on the northbound lanes of I-55 from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning.
Meanwhile, lane closures of the southbound I-55 lanes in the affected area will be done from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning.
Speed limits in the area are being reduced to protect the work crews and motorists are urged to drive with caution.
Meanwhile, MDOT crews continue on several other projects affecting travel in DeSoto County.
Drivers on Goodman Road between Olive Branch and Horn Lake have begun seeing “Travel Time” and other digital signs that are being installed as part of what is called MDOT’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Project.
It is part of the project meant to help traffic flow more smoothly through the busiest roadway in DeSoto County.
The signs will allow travelers to get information on how long it will take to get to major points on Goodman Road, such as travel time heading east to U.S. Highway 78 or to I-55/69 traveling west.
Fiber optic cable is being installed that will allow the signs and existing traffic signals to communicate with each other and the MDOT Traffic Management Center in Jackson.
Sensors are also being installed at major intersections along Goodman Road to help identify traffic flow patterns.
The project should be finished by mid-summer of next year.
At the same time, bridge repair on the I-55 bridge at Starlanding Road is in the works. Lane closures are also expected at some point in the repair work, but advanced notification will be made before that happens. The repair work should be finished later this summer.
The new 2,000-foot Coldwater River Bridge on Highway 51 at the DeSoto-Tate County line should be finished by mid-winter of this year, according to MDOT.
Work on the I-269 construction project, the largest active MDOT construction project in the state, is said to be on schedule.
Bridge work is finished along the interstate project and crews are now working on paving the sections of the project that have not been paved.
The new I-269 should be done by the fall of next year to connect with the existing portion from Highway 302 north to the Tennessee state line in Marshall County.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.