ALERT: Section of I-20 west of Jackson to close for repairs next week

ALERT: Section of I-20 west of Jackson to close for repairs next week

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Motorists who normally use Interstate 20 to travel to Jackson will want to add time to their travel plans for several days starting next week.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation will be closing a section of I-20 west of the city of Jackson where it crosses over Lynch Creek to perform a bridge rehabilitation project.

The project requires two separate five-day closures.

The section of I-20 to be closed starting next week. Image courtesy MDOT.

Beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, MDOT crews will close I-20 eastbound for five days, reopening Thursday, Oct. 24 at 6 a.m. The second closure will take place on the westbound side of I-20 beginning Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. and reopening Thursday, Oct. 31 at 6 a.m.

Both the eastbound and westbound bridge decks will be partially removed and replaced.

The project will have a major impact on traffic. During construction, freight traffic will be directed to I-220 to detour around the I-20 closures. Local traffic will be directed to state Hwy. 80. During the I-20 westbound closure, the on-ramp to I-55 north from County Line Road will close as needed to help with traffic flow on I-55 northbound.

“This is a stretch of interstate that carries approximately 93,000 vehicles a day,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath in a statement. “Over time, the high volume of traffic has caused the bridge deck to deteriorate.”

Engineers recently found cracking and areas of exposed rebar in the bridge deck during routine inspections. While the bridge is currently structurally sound, engineers determined repairs to each of the 51-foot by 209-foot structures were necessary.

“We understand closing an interstate in the Jackson-metro area is going to be an inconvenience for the traveling public, which is why motorists should begin planning their alternate routes now,” said Commissioner Dick Hall, chairman of the Mississippi Transportation Commission, in the release. “In the long run, the project will extend the service life of these bridges up to 50 years.”

Motorists are reminded to be on high alert for flagmen and roadside workers. Advance warning and detour signage will be in place for communication with the traveling public.

“Bridges are a vital component to the state’s infrastructure network and this project will enhance safety and connectivity along Mississippi’s highway system,” Hall said. “I’d call that a good investment.”

Motorists can stay updated on this project and others by visiting MDOTtraffic.com, downloading the free MDOT Traffic app, or like and follow MDOT on Facebook and Twitter. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.