MDOT closing outside lanes of I-20 near Old Highway 27 for a month as part of ongoing project

Published 3:13 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Travelers on Interstate 20 in Vicksburg may want to learn alternate routes for the next month as roadwork progresses near the Old Highway 27 bridge.

Following the closure of one of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 near the Old Highway 27 bridge and Clay Street on Monday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation announced Tuesday its intent to close the outside lanes in both directions for the next month.

“We are in the process of closing outside lanes in both directions,” said MDOT Public Information Officer Mike Flood. “Traffic will be down to the inside lanes in both directions for a month, so the crews can replace the rails on the Old Highway 27 bridge and on the I-20 bridges as well as part of our ongoing project.”

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Flood said both westbound lanes are anticipated to be open sometime in April.

The lane closure is part of ongoing work to repair a bridge crossing Old Highway 27 as part of a major project to repair and improve the five bridges crossing Interstate 20 in Warren County.

Crews began working on the bridge crossing Old Highway 27 in February, first closing off the westbound lanes. On Monday, crews closed off the eastbound Clay Street entrance ramps and reduced traffic to one lane for the duration of the project. The move caused eastbound traffic to back up as far as the Mississippi River Bridge.

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.