Liberty Road work about 20 percent done

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; More lane changes, more detours and more inconveniences are coming before the work is finished on Seargent S. Prentiss at Liberty Road.

Road construction to create a partial cloverleaf intersection of the roads is about 20 percent finished, said Nellie Wimberly, project engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The next major step is to tear out the existing southbound ramp from Liberty Road to the highway. Traffic normally on that ramp will be detoured to North Shields Lane.

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Work hasn&8217;t been slowed yet by typical winter weather, Wimberly said.

&8220;We&8217;ve been really lucky,&8221; she said. &8220;In most winters we wouldn&8217;t be able to work like we have.&8221;

Tearing down the bridge over Liberty Road is about two months away, Wimberly said. Once the bridge is gone, traffic will use a series of detours to get from downtown to the county.

The whole project is scheduled for completion in August 2007. Work began last August.

The finished project will have a southwest entrance and exit ramp to the highway and landscaping, retaining walls and new trees.

Much of the work is being done by Tanner Construction of Ellisville. Subcontractors include Midway Construction of Roxie and Natchez&8217;s W.E. Blain and Sons.

The speed limit on the road has been lowered from 45 mph to 35 because of the construction, Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

&8220;That&8217;s a large construction project that covers a stretch of highway, and it&8217;s going to be 35 for the duration of that project,&8221; he said.

There have been an increased number of accidents in the area since construction began, Mullins said. Officers are patrolling the area and issuing speeding tickets.

&8220;Everyone&8217;s simply got to slow down and pay attention to the markings, lines and barriers,&8221; Mullins said. &8220;If everyone will slow down and pay attention it won&8217;t be a problem.&8221;