Thanks to upcoming road reconstruction, smooth sailing along Interstate 55 between Old Agency Road in Ridgeland and Madison Avenue in Madison is expected to change. A satellite map from MDOT shows detailed plans for the upcoming "Split Diamond Project" starting Thursday.
"Construction signs will go up (and) they will be able to see the beginning and ending of the project which will be from Old Agency Road to 463," said Mark Bombich, an MDOT Project Engineer.
One lane will be added to I-55 in each direction between Old Agency Road and Highway 463. The total number of lanes will be increased from six to eight. In order for that to happen, all traffic will be moved to one side of the interstate. That will likely happen this summer.
"All the northbound traffic will go to the southbound side so that we can demolish the bridges and the roadway to raise it and to build the new bridges," Bombich told WLBT News.
Once the northbound expansion is complete, traffic will be moved to the northbound portion of the highway to expand the southbound lanes.
During this reconstruction project the speed limit between Old Agency Road and Highway 463 will drop to 50 miles per hour. If you're caught speeding, your ticket fine will be doubled.
"The roadwork that happens out here is dangerous all in itself. This is our office. We ask you to respect us, respect the people you're around," said Bombich.
In addition to work on I-55 you'll also notice reconstruction around the highway. A fraction of what you'll see is the widening of the Sunnybrook Road and Jackson Street intersection in Ridgeland.
A new east-west connector road is planned from Highland Colony Parkway to the east side of the interstate. It will be located between Steed Road in Ridgeland and Madison Avenue in Madison. Also, frontage roads will be added and extended to Madison Avenue.
Lane shifts will not take place on Thursday. However, drivers will notice the fifty mile per hour speed limit signs going up. Also, during the first couple of days and weeks of reconstruction, drivers should spot medians being placed on the highway to prepare for the head to head traffic.
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