South Frontage Road expansion to make a slight ‘jog’ west
Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Once the project is completed, drivers using South Frontage Road to reach the businesses, restaurants and hotels on the road’s east side will take a slight jog to the west to cross the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks.
The project to link the east and west sides of South Frontage Road involves building an overpass crossing the railroad tracks, and equipment and crews for contractor T.L. Wallace of Columbia are excavating the site for the overpass just to the west of the road. That means a slight shift in the road to get to the bridge.
“There will be a minor realignment of the road to meet with the overpass,” Mississippi Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Flood said.
The overpass will be built west of the South Frontage Road-Old Mississippi 27 intersection.
Work on the extension project began in November, and property between the railroad tracks and the eastern end of South Frontage Road has been cleared and dug out in preparation for the overpass.
The South Frontage Road extension has been discussed for more than 20 years.
In 2007, a Federal Highway Administration study on the project issued a “finding of no significant impact,” clearing the way for the project. Four years later, the Mississippi Department of Transportation bought five properties along the road to secure rights of way for the project, and in April, the Legislature approved $4 million in its fiscal 2015 highway budget to begin planning the South Frontage Road expansion.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen in April 2018 awarded a $1.576 million bid to relocate the utility lines along South Frontage Road to Hemphill Construction of Florence. The project was completed in June.
The Mississippi Transportation Commission in September awarded the project to T.L. Wallace, which submitted the low bid of $17.33 million for the project. The bid was more than $450,000 under the project’s estimate of $17.80 million.