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Mississippi's Reunion Crossing Project Could Be Bid Out This Year

Thu April 08, 2021 - Southeast Edition

Reunion Parkway Phase 2 Project will cross I-55, north of exit 108 and connect with Bozeman Road on the western side and Parkway East on the eastern side of the interstate. (Mississippi Engineering Group Inc. rendering)
Reunion Parkway Phase 2 Project will cross I-55, north of exit 108 and connect with Bozeman Road on the western side and Parkway East on the eastern side of the interstate. (Mississippi Engineering Group Inc. rendering)

Before the end of 2021, bids could be completed on the Reunion Crossing road project in Madison County, Miss., followed by construction getting under way early next year.

The enterprise is designed to provide residents of the small community of Gluckstadt with another way to access Interstate 55.

The second phase of Reunion Crossing includes extending the parkway from Bozeman Road to Parkway East, near the D1 Training athletic facility in Madison.

Plans for the $24.5 million project are expected to be completed in early April before being submitted to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for review. Madison County also must obtain the right-of-way needed for the work, according to Jackson's WLBT.

County engineer Tim Bryan told the TV station that one reason MDOT must sign off on the plans is because they will include Madison County building a flyover bridge at I-55.

"We will review the design [and that] will take three weeks," he said. "Then [the DOT engineers] will go back and make any changes we request. Then we will submit it to MDOT for approval of the bridge."

Bryan added that the state agency, "is reviewing it to make sure the bridge meets their specifications and to make sure we don't have any problems connecting the bridge to the interstate to form the interchange."

The project includes the MDOT building entry and exit ramps at Reunion Parkway and I-55.

Bryan said the MDOT is widening I-55 to three lanes from Gluckstadt to Canton (the county seat) in each direction. Once that is done, the ramps will be installed.

WLBT-TV reported that there was uncertainty when the new ramps at Reunion Parkway and I-55 project would move forward. Byran said the state was in the preliminary design phase and officials with the MDOT were not available for comment to the news outlet.

Meanwhile, Madison County is in the initial stages of obtaining the right-of-way for the expansion.

"I'm not sure if they've made any offers, but they are in the beginning stages of determining values," Bryan said of the firm brought on to handle acquisitions.

Madison-based Integrated Right-of-Way was hired to survey the needed properties in January, but it is still unclear how many properties are needed for the Reunion Crossing project.

Bryan said that how quickly parcels are obtained will determine when work can be bid.

"Right-of-way is a fluid unknown," he told WLBT. "It could be simple, or it [may] not be. Part of it depends on how quickly people accept offers. It could be that people challenge valuations and we potentially [must] go to eminent domain."

An as-yet-undesigned third phase of the project would include taking Reunion from Parkway East to U.S. Highway 51, at Green Oak Lane.

County officials have been working to complete Reunion Parkway for years, in part, to create a new east-west corridor, something Madison County has never had.

Once completed, the road will connect MS Highway 463 to U.S. 51 and open about 880 acres for new development.

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