I-55 to get new lanes - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

I-55 to get new lanes

Posted: Updated:

Easing the drive along Mississippi roadways may not be an easy task, but a major section will soon get some help. A stretch of Interstate 55 from McDowell Road in south Jackson all the way to Terry will soon be getting an overhaul when road crews add a third lane to both the north and southbound lanes.

It's a project Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall says is to increase the capacity of traffic, which is an increasing problem across the state.

"We decided let's not throw good money at the bad. Let's take this money and invest it in some new lanes," said Hall.

That investment comes with a taxpayer price tag of about $80 million. Once the bidding process is done in January, it'll take about two years before the completion.

"It's going to be a long project. It's going to be tedious project, it's going to be a project everybody has to watch out for the workers, to be careful, to be safe and to be patient cause it's going to take us a while to do it," said Hall.

While many projects already have the green light, from the coast to the capital city and up through the Delta, others are still idling in yellow, and may have to stay that way a little longer.

One culprit putting the brakes on projects across the state is gas prices. As they go up, folks spend less, which means less revenue for the department. It's not just a problem in Mississippi but across the country.

"Until that national solution comes, we're going to be building less and less and just maintaining what we have," said Hall.

In the meantime, city and town leaders across the state are hoping new projects get shifted into high gear, which is what's happening for city of Byram, when I-55 gets made over.

"Anytime you make a place more accessible, it is going to be a lot easier for business to locate," said Byram Mayor Nick Tremonte.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow