JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - One of the most heavily traveled roadways in the state is about to undergo some major changes.
MDOT officials plan to open a three-lane detour route for those traveling Interstate 20 Westbound in Jackson.
The three-lane detour will be open while crews work to replace the deteriorating bridge overlooking State Street on Interstate 20 Westbound.
The temporary detour route will begin just West of the Gallatin Street bridge on I-20 Westbound, and end just East of the railroad bridge. It will be located in the I-20 median on the South side of I-20 Westbound.
It will open to make sure traffic continues to flow smoothly when crews close the two left bound lanes of I-20 Westbound between State Street and I-55 South at 7 PM Tuesday night in order to begin replacing the bridge overlooking State Street.
"We needed to build this detour to get traffic off the bridge," said Brian Ratliff, project engineer with MDOT. "It's been found that this bridge has some fatigue cracks in the structure itself, and it needs to be replaced.
MDOT said an average of 130,000 vehicles drive in the area everyday, making it one of the busiest portions of interstate in Mississippi.
Once the new bridge is complete, the detour route will be removed, and the exits that were closed months ago so crews could work on the bridge will re-open. They are the left-hand exits to State Street from I-20 Eastbound and I-55 Northbound near McDowell Road. The existing right hand exit to Gallatin Street will be closed and removed.
There will be some nighttime closures of the interstate once the new bridge is completed to raise the grade of the interstate. The project's price tag is just over $15 million.
MDOT officials said they hope to open the new bridge by the end of this year.
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