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The Mississippi Transportation Commission recently awarded contracts for 11 infrastructure projects throughout the state.
The three-member commission oversees the state’s transportation resources and supervises all modes of transportation related to highways, ports, aeronautics, public transit and railroads. The contracts represent maintenance projects in each of the commission’s three districts.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation will oversee the projects, which are meant to improve safety and support economic development.
“These projects will make our highways safer and make Mississippi a better place to live and work,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “All of our projects, whether pavement overlays or bridge replacements, help ensure the businesses and people of Mississippi have efficient and reliable infrastructure for travel and transport of goods and services.”
The largest contract, totaling $7.3 million, was awarded to APAC-Mississippi Inc. for a project to mill and overlay 11 miles of U.S. Route 45. This route stretches from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. The portion of U.S. 45 that will be treated through this contract is in Lauderdale County, which borders Alabama.
Another mill and overlay contract, representing $4.6 million, was issued to Dickerson & Bowen Inc. for a project on U.S. 51, another major north-south highway. This effort will involve work on a 10-mile stretch of U.S. 51 in Lincoln County.
A contract for $2.2 million went to Paul Jackson & Son Inc. for a maintenance and renovation project regarding MDOT’s administrative facility in Hinds County. Encompassing Jackson, Hinds County is the most populous county in Mississippi.
“Our No. 1 priority at MDOT is to keep the state of Mississippi safe,” said Willie Simmons, commissioner for the Mississippi Transportation Commission’s central district. “These projects are a major investment into Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure and the safety of the traveling public.”
A couple of the awarded contracts focus on bridges. Some 8.2% of Mississippi’s bridges are classified as structurally deficient, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s 2021 Bridge Report.
A contract of $4.2 million was issued to Century Construction Group Inc. to repair a bridge carrying Interstate 55 in Panola County, which is in the northwest portion of the state. I-55 is the main north-south interstate moving through Mississippi.
The second bridge-related contract, totaling $2.3 million, was awarded to T.L. Wallace Construction Inc. The bridge preservation project will address the structure that carries state Route 35 over the Pearl River in Marion County.
Mississippi transportation officials urged drivers to travel safely and pay attention when navigating through construction zones. Highway work zones may present new traffic configurations for drivers.
“We are expecting to announce more contracts and in-house efforts as this year’s construction season gets rolling,” said John Caldwell, commissioner for the Mississippi Transportation Commission’s northern district. “We are continuing to see improvements as we dedicate more money to our asphalt overlay program. Our bridge repair and rehabilitation has also benefited from regular inspections and dedicated funds.”
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