The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded an $11.6 million contract to Tanner Construction of Jones County to reconstruct 2 mi. (3.2 km) of roadway on Interstate 59 from Fourth Avenue to Chantilly Street in Jones County.
Work on the interstate reconstruction project will include clearing and grubbing along the highway, followed by roadway resurfacing. Along with widening the roadway and bridges, crews will be relocating existing lighting and building retaining walls. Once completed, the highway will have 6 ft. (1.8 m) shoulders on the inside and 12 ft. (3.6 m) shoulders on the outside along the roadway.
Because there are extended lane closures throughout the project, MDOT Project Manager Brent Quick said detours will be available to motorists.
“Vehicles will be restricted to one lane both northbound and southbound in different phases,” said Quick. “Motorists are advised to look for signs that will be posted during each phase of construction, which will explain traffic restrictions.”
Quick said that crews will be installing temporary lighting in the construction zone, while permanent lights are constructed.
Laurel Mayor Melvin Mack said the city welcomes this important project.
“The city of Laurel is grateful to the Mississippi Department of Transportation [MDOT] for working with us to expedite this project as well as the newly completed improvements to the S-Curve,” said Mayor Mack. “The section of I-59 through Laurel has been known nationwide for the danger that it posed to travelers, as the site of many accidents and at least one death each year. Through the issuance of HELP bonds by the city of Laurel with reimbursement by MDOT, the project was started several years ahead of schedule, thereby reducing accidents and deaths related to this treacherous segment of interstate.”
Mack said the city looks forward to the installation of the new lighting, which is a part of the project.
“We are ecstatic that the Mississippi Department of Transportation has implemented such a comprehensive plan to improve this major thoroughfare through Laurel.”
The I-59 project is estimated to take about a year to complete.