On Monday morning construction crews started pulling guardrails from the ground and taking up old asphalt in the Northbound lanes of I-55 between Ridgeland and Madison.
"It's going to allow us to totally re-construct I-55 basically between Steed Road and Madison Avenue," said MDOT Engineer Brian Ratliff.
Ratliff said that chunk of the interstate is being torn apart to expand the Northbound lanes from three to four lanes.
During construction, Northbound and Southbound traffic has been divided by concrete barriers head to head in the Southbound lanes.
"Things are a lot different up here you need to pay attention to the signs, put your cell phones down," said Ratliff.
To help drivers through the roadwork the contractor and MDOT are providing a free tow truck service to help drivers whose vehicles break down or get a flat through the work zone.
New neon "Smart Work Zone" sign are set up along the highway. The signs are also expected to help drivers maneuver through expected construction related traffic delays. The signs tell you how much time it'll take to get to your exit and through the end of the work zone.
"This all happens in real time on demand and gives you real time information that MDOT has provided to maybe help ease the commute," said Ratliff.
The work on the Northbound lanes is expected to last up to one year. Expansion of the Southbound lanes will start up after the new Northbound lanes are complete.
You can go to www.goMDOT.com to get the latest traffic information on this construction. It's official name is the Split Diamond Project.
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