JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Department of Transportation officials say there is exposed steel and erosion on the bridge over Lynch Creek, and it must be fixed immediately.
The eastbound lanes of Interstate will be shut down beginning the night of Friday, October 18, for the first phase of construction. Commercial traffic will be diverted around the city, onto Interstate 220 then 55.
Local traffic goers will be able to use Highway 80.
MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath said, “It will impact every major arterial in the metro area because of the detour diversions, so you’re taking 93,000 cars a day off I-20.”
McGrath says motorists should expect delays, especially when they begin working on the westbound lanes.
MDOT says they will have to shut down the northbound entrance to I-55 at County Line Road because there won’t be space for people to merge on with the increased detour traffic.
“People need to realize these changes are coming," saod McGrath. "Thank goodness it’s a very short time span, but your driving patterns need to be changed. We ask everyone please be patient.”
MDOT is working with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department and other local law enforcement to use blue lights to warn motorists of the construction traffic.
“It’s probably going to be stopped, so when you see those lights you need to slow down because you do not want to come barreling into or come over a little crest then there’s something stopped," said McGrath. “So we’re asking everyone leave early, plan ahead.”
Ridgeland police are devising a plan to handle the interstate traffic that will have to go north on Highway 51 through their city.
The County Line Road interstate entrance will close at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 25, and will end on Halloween.
MDOT warns motorists early of the expected traffic problems so they won’t be tricked as they make their commute -- which won’t be a treat.