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Crews construct retaining walls prior to beam placement in February on I-55 northbound bridge over State Route 306 in Tate County.

Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District, has announced updates to Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects in Northwest Mississippi.

A project to replace two overpasses at Exit 271 near Coldwater continues in Tate County. The existing northbound I-55 bridge over State Route 306 was demolished last November.

Retaining walls have been constructed, and, on Feb. 28, beams were placed for the new bridge.

Northbound I-55 traffic has been rerouted to a temporary detour bridge while crews reconstruct the permanent bridge. When the bridge is complete, crews will move to the southbound lanes. The temporary detour bridge will be removed when the project is completed.

The existing bridges were built in 1959, and the bridge decks had deteriorated to a point where replacement was the only solution. The $9 million project was awarded to Joe McGee Construction Company. The project will install a pair of bridges on the site with a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years. The project is estimated to be completed in summer 2019.

A $4.7 million bridge replacement project is under construction at the Cuffawa Creek Bridge. The project will realign the section of highway to lessen curves in the road. The new 630-foot span will replace the two existing bridges.

The bridge deck has been poured, and asphalt has been laid on the west side of the bridge. Crews are constructing the guard rails and preparing the east end for asphalt.

The work is being done by Joe McGee Construction Company and is expected to be completed in winter 2019.

Work continues on a bridge replacement project along State Route 32 between State Route 35 and the Tallahatchie River.

The first project near Charleston will replace six bridges and move traffic to a new alignment on State Route 32. The project began in February 2018.

The eastern phase of the project is complete and open to traffic. Three new bridges and four box culverts were installed.

The western phase of the project is currently under construction. The bridge and culvert work is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

When construction is completed, a new surface course of asphalt will be laid throughout the project area.

A second project on State Route 32 replaced three bridges and constructed a new railroad bridge. The project was completed in November.

“The bridges on State Route 32 in these projects have been repaired multiple times and are posted at 15 tons or less,” Tagert said. “These are steel beam bridges with timber pilings that were built in the late 1940s and have outlived their serviceable lives.”

In the future, a third project to replace the Tallahatchie River Bridge will be advertised for bids.

Elsewhere in the county on U.S. Highway 49 East, a nearly $5 million project to replace the Black Bayou Bridge is being performed by Eutaw Construction. A temporary detour bridge has been opened for traffic. The existing bridge is being demolished, and the new permanent bridge is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019.

“Most of the work is taking place off the existing roadway to minimize impacts to traffic and to keep workers safe,” Tagert said. “However, motorists should use caution in the work zones and expect delays. Construction equipment and dump trucks will be entering and exiting the work zones throughout the project.”

In Panola County, 3,300-foot span will replace the existing Tallahatchie River Bridge and relief bridge. The project includes the realignment and reconstruction of the Waldrup Road and Macedonia Road intersections. MDOT has coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to relocate the existing levee on the west side of the Tallahatchie River.

Work zones present new traffic patterns and configurations that may be unfamiliar to motorists. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

For more information about these or other MDOT maintenance and construction projects, visit MDOTtraffic.com, download the free MDOT Traffic app or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

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