Ceremony marks completion of U.S. 61 four-laning

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the beginning of four-lane construction on U.S. 61 in Wilkinson County will be at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ceremonies will take place at the intersection of U.S. 61 and state Highway 563 north of Woodville.

The public is invited to attend, said Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown. W.E. Blain & Sons Inc. of Mount Olive was awarded the contract with a low bid of $21,021,398 for the construction of 10.4 miles from the Louisiana state line to the intersection with 563. Work will include grading, drainage and paving necessary to add a parallel lane on the existing highway. In addition, a five-lane section of roadway will be constructed through the city of Woodville.

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&uot;Safety is a major concern during the construction period,&uot; Brown said. &uot;With that in mind, motorists are urged to use caution when traveling through the work zone, which may contain heavy equipment, flaggers and lane closures.&uot;

The estimated completion date for the project is October 2004, Brown said.

The project is part of the 1987 Four-Lane Highway Program, a legislative act to four-lane or make other improvements to more than 1,811 miles of Mississippi roadways. As part of the program, all of U.S. 61 is scheduled to be upgraded and will serve as a major north-south route from the Louisiana state line to the Tennessee state line. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at the Wilkinson County Museum at the Courthouse Square in Woodville.