Roadwork to help preserve deteriorating structure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 10, 2010

NATCHEZ — Road construction on U.S. 61 South is being completed to restore the road overlay and preserve the interior structure of the road.

The pavement surface had deteriorated to the point that the joints in the concrete pavement under the asphalt were starting to be stressed, and the new surface will address that problem, Mississippi Department of Transportation District Engineer Darrell Broome said.

“We’re doing this overlay project to give it a good riding surface and to prevent any further deterioration,” Broome said

The ongoing MDOT work on John R. Junkin Drive is unrelated to the overlay, Broome said.

Instead, it’s a project to upgrade the road lighting system.

“They have done a good bit of boring to get the conduit in for the new lighting, but they don’t have the new lighting, the poles or fixtures in but they are getting it ready,” he said.

The new lighting will be the same as used to light the end of the Natchez Trace Parkway and at the Liberty Road interchange, Broome said.

Bids have also been let for the new fly-over project on U.S. 61 at the D’Evereux Drive interchange, though the project is still in pre-construction.

When it is completed, the southbound lane of U.S. 61 will be directed to an overpass that will take it above the U.S. 61-D’Evereux Drive intersection.

The fly-over structure will slope back to the ground and be back at road level before the highway reaches Walmart, Broome said.