Fly over work a bit behind schedule

Published 12:04 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

ERIC SHELTON/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — A car passes by the fly over construction at the intersection of D’Evereux and Seargent S. Prentiss drives Thursday afternoon in Natchez. Engineer and project manager Steve Smith said that the construction is expected to be completed in late August or September of next year.

NATCHEZ — Construction on the fly over at the intersection on D’Evereux and Seargent S. Prentiss drives has gotten a little behind schedule.

Mississippi Department of Transportation resident engineer and project manager Steve Smith said construction should still be finished in late August or September next year.

“We’re not getting further and further (behind),” he said. “We’re staying steady.”

Smith said construction crews are currently setting forms for the top bridge deck, and the bottom deck forms are finished.

Approximately 85 percent of the curb, gutter and drainage work on the frontage road is complete, Smith said. He said the asphalt will be put on the road and striped with paint sometime in the spring.

The main focus of winter construction, Smith said, will be getting the bridge built and building the retaining wall on the north end of the project.

The pile-driving work for the south retaining wall is finished, Smith said, and people should get some relief from the construction noise.

“Hopefully, they won’t hear that jackhammer for about another month or so,” he said.

The bridge deck is constructed in units, with each end of the bridge’s concrete deck poured separately than the middle unit.

Smith said the concrete has been poured for one of the ends of the bridge, and the crews should start pouring the other end in mid-January.

The rate of progress on the project during January and February, Smith said, will depend on weather conditions.

Construction will pick up quickly in the spring, Smith said.

“Once the weather warms up, you’re really going to see a lot of activity out there,” he said.

Smith said once the bridge is built, traffic can be phased and switched so work can be done on the north retaining wall.

A portion of the frontage road will be opened up in the spring to switch traffic, and traffic lights will be installed on the frontage road near Ryan’s and Lynda Lee Drive.