Construction to be complete in 2012

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 6, 2010

NATCHEZ — A timetable for the construction of a new intersection at D’Evereux Drive and Seargent S. Prentiss Drive has been finalized, Mississippi Department of Transportation resident engineer Jim Eggleston said.

Construction began last month, and is slated for completion in August 2012. The project’s estimated cost is approximately $19.5 million.

Eggleston said approximately 32,000 cars travel through the intersection every day, making it the city’s busiest interchange.

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In a previous report, MDOT Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown said approximately 55,000 cars are expected to travel through the intersection daily in 20 years.

Eggleston said the intersection will be a combination of turning lanes and a flyover.

“The basic flow of the intersection will remain the same except for the flyover,” Eggleston said. “Maneuvering over it won’t be much different.

“Coming south when you get off the bridges at Ryan’s, you presently move over in the left hand lane. Once the intersection is complete, you’ll move in the left lane to get up on the overpass and come down over there by the VFW.”

Construction was originally slated to begin in June, but paperwork halted the original schedule. However, the revised schedule is right on track, Eggleston said.

Now that clearing and grubbing work is near completion, crews are now working to extend existing drainage pipes and install new drainage pipes at the intersection.

Eggleston said construction has not yet impacted daily traffic flow. All traffic lanes remain open.

“Right now, there shouldn’t be any effect on traffic,” Eggleston said. “The only closure we have right now is a shoulder closure.

“Later in the project there will be times when we relocated traffic or perhaps have one lane closed, but we’ll do the best we can to maintain through traffic there.”

The D’Evereux intersection is the third recent MDOT project in the city, following the now completed Natchez Trace terminus and bridge and the continuous flow intersection at John R. Junkin Drive and U.S. 61 South.