Guardrail project on I-20 westbound at Old Highway 27 to be completed by Labor Day

Published 2:06 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Guardrail work presently underway in the westbound lanes of the Interstate 20 bridge crossing Old Highway 27 is expected to be completed by early September, a Mississippi Department of Transportation spokesman said.

MDOT spokesman Mike Flood said the contractor on the guardrail project expects to complete the project by Labor Day, adding repairs to the bridge joints in the eastbound lanes have been completed.

He said further repair work on the westbound lanes resumes after Labor Day and will require some occasional lane closures “but nothing long-term like we’ve had most of the year.”

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The repair work is part of a project that included the construction of the South Frontage Road extension.

Besides the bridges crossing Clay Street and Old Highway 27, bridges 4.9A and 4.9 B, which cross Old U.S. 80, were also included.

The project included 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 the bridge at Old Highway 27 included 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.

The total project will be completed by spring 2023.

Flood said MDOT will also do a final cleanup on South Frontage Road.

“There is a bad spot near the Cracker Barrel they are going to have to repair,” he said.

Besides the roadwork, Flood said, construction crews are presently working on an MDOT project to clear trees on I-20 between U.S. 61 North and the Hinds County line. Under the project, a contractor is clearing trees that are within 50 feet of the roadway.

“At the moment, they are working in the median with a lane closure. I expect that they will be working in the median for 2 to 3 more weeks,” he said. “After that, they will be clearing on the outside. Most of that work should only require a shoulder closure.”

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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