The National Park Service announced Tuesday that it will close an eight-mile section of the Natchez Trace Parkway for a year or more to make major repairs to the roadway.
On Wednesday, March 14, the Park Service says the Trace will close from Interstate 55 in Ridgeland south to U.S. Highway 49 in Hinds County, near Clinton.
In a press release, the Park Service said its engineers had "identified the potential for collapse of the roadway due to instability in the embankment. Over the past year, several emergency repairs were completed; however, the section has continued to deteriorate to the point where it is unsafe for vehicular traffic."
The Park Service will post signs and barricades in the affected area. It suggests drivers get around the closure by using Interstate 220.
No specific completion date was given, only that the project "could exceed one year."
The Park Service says bicycle traffic will not be affected by the closure, because it should be possible for one lane to remain open for bikes. That could change, however, if the condition of the road deteriorates further.
The affected segment of the parkway opened in 2005, finally completing the road from Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee.
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