Resurfacing on John R. Junkin may cause delays

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Motorists should expect delays if they travel John R. Junkin Drive during the next six to eight weeks.

The busy 2.5-mile boulevard in Natchez is undergoing resurfacing, with a completion date of Sept. 25, a Mississippi Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Monday.

&uot;The Blaine Companies of Natchez will be the contractor,&uot; said Janet Sullivan of the Adams County office. &uot;The signs have been put up. And the equipment is in place. They will be milling and overlaying from the intersection of Seargent Prentiss to the bridge.&uot;

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The $865,000 project is part of a routine maintenance program, Sullivan said. Work began Monday.

The milling &045; grinding up the old roadbed &045; will begin with turn lanes going west off the boulevard. Work today is expected to center on the area near the entrance to Glenwood Subdivision as well as at the Homochitto intersection.

At the intersection with Homochitto Street, work will include the 537 feet into Lower Woodville Road designated for state maintenance and 1,300 feet into Homochitto.

Contractors will work toward the west to the entrance of the Natchez-Vidalia, La., bridge and then turn and complete turning lanes going back to the east to Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

Once intersections and turn lanes are complete, work will begin on the roadbed, first the westbound lanes and then the eastbound lanes.

&uot;We hope people will be patient,&uot; Sullivan said. &uot;There will be some congestion. Drivers should be sure to observe safety signs.&uot;

The drive averages 23,000 vehicles a day, transportation department statistics show.

Area motorists who can avoid John R. Junkin should do so.

The greatest inconvenience will be early on with the turn lanes, Sullivan said.

With the main roadbed, the new overlay by law must follow the grinding of the old bed on the same day. That is not true of turn lanes and intersections, however.

&uot;It can be very inconvenient, but it’s always worth it when it’s over,&uot; Sullivan said. &uot;We just urge everyone to be very careful driving in the area during the project.&uot;