I-10 Bridge Work To Begin In Hancock County

Work will soon begin to widen the bridge over the Jourdan River on Interstate 10 in Hancock County.

A 3-mile stretch of the Highway from Highway 603 to the Diamondhead exit will be widened from four to six lanes. Construction crews will first replace some eroding pilings underneath the Jourdan River Bridge before the $46-million six-laning project starts.

"The first thing we do is build two lanes in between the two bridges," project superintendant Lynn Cox says.  "Then the south bridge will be taken down and replaced then the North bridge."

This project, like most others, will mean construction delays for many drivers.

"At most times we'll maintain two lanes of traffic in both directions except for some minor one lane closures during day time hours Monday through Thursday. We'll do everything possible to keep from hindering traffic."

Cox says traffic will be re-routed at least twice during the road and bridge work.

"We'll have to take them from the old bridge put them on the new bridge and swap them back again during the process. The biggest thing is to obey the signs there will be proper signs in all directions the speed limit will change it will slow down some what."

The project also calls for larger shoulders to be added to both sides of the new six lane road. State Transportation leaders say the improvements will make traveling this stretch of I-10 a lot safer. But as we found out that' s matter of opinion.

"I think it's a mistake," Diamondhead resident Jennifer Robotti says.  "I think it's going to make people want to go faster the more lanes the more speed.  There will be a lot more lane changing and a lot more chaos on the road.

But resident Peter Pellegrini disagrees. "I think that a six lane Highway is much safer than say a clogged up three lane highway. It will surely improve the safety situation."

The entire project is expected to take between two and a half to three years to complete.