MADISON CO., Miss. (WLBT) - Construction could be bid out this year and get underway early next year on a project that will eventually provide Gluckstadt residents with another way to access I-55.
However, before Madison County can get to that point, it must first have its plans approved by the state and obtain the right-of-way needed for the work.
The project is the Reunion Crossing project. The second phase includes extending the parkway from Bozeman Road to Parkway East, near D-1 Training in Madison.
Plans for the $24.5 million project are expected to be completed this week. From there, they will be submitted to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for review.
MDOT must sign off on the plans because they will include building a bridge over I-55, said County Engineer Tim Bryan.
“We will review the design. That will take three weeks. Then (engineers) will go back and make any changes we request,” Bryan said. “Then we will submit it to MDOT for approval of the bridge.
“MDOT is reviewing it to make sure the bridge meets their specifications and to make sure we don’t have any problems connecting the bridge to the interstate to form the interchange.”
The project includes the construction of a new bridge over I-55 North, with MDOT coming in later to add entry and exit ramps.
“MDOT has a project ... to widen I-55 from Gluckstadt to Canton to three lanes in each direction,” Bryan said previously. “When they get that lane in, they will build the ramps for the bridge.
It was not sure when that project would move forward. Byran said the state was in the preliminary design phase and officials with the state’s transportation agency were not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile, Madison County is in the initial stages of obtaining right-of-way for the expansion.
“I’m not sure if they’ve made any offers, but they are in the beginning stages of determining values,” Bryan said of the firm brought on to handle acquisitions.
Integrated Right-of-Way, of Madison, was hired to survey the needed properties in January. It is not known how many properties are needed.
How quickly parcels are obtained will determine when work can be bid.
“Right-of-way is a fluid unknown. It could be simple, or it could not be,” he said. Part of it depends on how quickly people accept offers. It could be that people challenge valuations and we potentially have to go to eminent domain.
“Any time you go through court, it takes longer than it does if you stay out of the system.”