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Extensive work on I-20 bridge set to begin in January

Workers for Missouri-based contractor OCCI Inc. will soon begin work on a $27.7 million upgrade for the Interstate 20 Mississippi River bridge, according to information from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Work on the project is expected to begin in mid-January and is anticipated to finish in early 2021, with progress dependent on weather conditions.

Mississippi will be contributing half of the state match of federal funds for the cost of the project.

Built in 1973, the 2-mile bridge connects Madison Parish to Warren County, and provides one of the few interstate roadway crossings over the river.

The rehabilitation project includes a number of significant repairs, including the bridge deck, electrical system, and roadway lighting components.

“Ensuring these integral crossings over the Mississippi River are properly maintained and modernized is crucial to growing the state’s economy,” said LDOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson. “This project will extend the service life of this bridge for decades to come; an example of strategically investing in our existing infrastructure with our available funding and maximizing the use of those dollars.”

The old bridge deck will be resurfaced with new concrete to improve traction and preserve the structural aspects of the bridge flooring. The current electrical circuits will be replaced, and about 100 roadway lighting fixtures will be replaced with a modern LED system.

Roadway fiber optics will be replaced with new cameras and radar, which will integrate the system into Mississippi’s IT network.

Also, selected bridge bearings will be adapted to provide the ability to reposition the bridge truss upriver as necessary. The steel structural connections at certain locations on the bridge will be modified to improve resilience against all loads and conditions.

New navigational lighting and aerial beacons will also be installed, along with improvements to the bridge monitoring system and enhancements to the inspection access walkways.

During construction, single-lane closures will be required, though there will be no lane closures conducted in both directions at the same time in order to maintain traffic flow as much as possible.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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