D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - It's a massive road construction project, driven by economic development.
MDOT is overseeing plans to improve the interchanges around I-10 and I-110. The roadwork should improve traffic flow around that always-busy intersection.
"It's a very large project. We have six different operations going on right now," said Michael Harter, who is the MDOT engineer overseeing the enormous highway improvement project.
This portion of work is creating a new interchange at I-10 and D'Iberville Boulevard. But it won't be your typical interstate off ramp.
"We are building the very first diverging diamond interchange in the state of Mississippi. And what that does is create a safer interchange on and off of I-10 by eliminating conflict points and giving people protected left hand turns," said Harter.
Economic development in D'Iberville is driving this project. The enormous success of the Promenade Shopping center and plans for the Galleria shopping center south of the interstate mean even more traffic on and around the I-10 and 110 intersection.
"This is an economically driven infrastructure project. And its primary goal is to accommodate the additional traffic in the area due to these developments," said Harter.
This is just phase one of the project. Future plans call for similar interchange improvements at the intersection of Lamey Bridge Road and I-10.
"The phase one project is approximately $30 million. Phase two will be funded by the Federal Highway Administration. And that will be $12 million."
Utility work is a part of the road project preparation; 36-inch steel casings will cover 20-inch sewer lines that run beneath the interstate.
"What those augers are for, we actually bored underneath the interstate for a new sewer line, a new sewer force main that we are relocating as part of this project," Harter explained.
The entire project from D'Iberville Boulevard to Lamey Bridge Road should be finished by the fall of 2015.
"It'll help traffic flow tremendously," said the project engineer.
Future plans call for even more highway improvements in that area. One thing in the planning stage is building a flyover to connect westbound I-10 traffic, with southbound I-110. That project is four or five years away.