Repairs to I-20 bridge over Old Highway 27 in Vicksburg to take several months

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Mississippi Department of Transportation began work Monday on a bridge crossing Old Highway 27 as part of a major project to repair and improve the five bridges crossing Interstate 20.

Crews began working on the bridge crossing Old Highway 27 Monday morning, closing off the two westbound Clay Street entrance ramps and reducing traffic to one lane for the duration of the project. The move caused westbound traffic to back up, at times as far back as Bovina.

MDOT spokesman Mike Flood said he did not have a specific timetable when the current project will be completed but said it would take “several months.”

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“Once we complete the westbound side we’ll start on the eastbound side,” Flood said.

He said MDOT officials would continue to monitor traffic during the work on the westbound side.

Flood said “wide load” traffic and other trucks passing through the area caused the initial traffic problems, and MDOT crews were installing signs that should help alleviate the problem by having the trucks take another exit.

“A lot of folks that work in Jackson will be advised to get off at Bovina and come down Highway 80; that may help with some of that,” he said. If the problems continue, he said, MDOT will take other steps to reduce traffic, including warnings through social media.

MDOT in 2020 announced plans to improve the five bridges, or overpasses, on I-20 in Vicksburg. The project will be completed in the spring of 2023.

The bridges designated for work are 4.5A, which crosses Old Highway 27; 4.8A and 4.8 B, which cross Clay Street; and 4.9A and 4.9 B, which cross Old U.S. 80.

The project includes removing and replacing existing bridge rails, end posts and a portion of the bridge deck on all the bridges; installing new guardrails; removing and replacing all existing bridge joints where the bridge spans join together and installing pressure relief joints at all bridge ends.

Pressure relief joints allow the bridges to expand and contract as temperatures change.

Additional work planned for bridge 4.5A at Old Highway 27 includes pressure washing and cleaning all debris from the existing caps and bearings, removing the pile encasement wall section to repair piles, installing pile repair plates to repair broken pilings and connecting angles.

Also, all exposed steel pilings, connecting angles and the repair area will be painted, new pile encasements — concrete sleeves to protect and reinforce the bridge pilings — will be formed and poured, and the existing exposed steel of the superstructure and bearings will be painted.

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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