Bridge construction continues on Highway 49

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Construction continues on the small section of Highway 49, just north of Harrison Central High School. The $6.8 million project started back in the fall of 2012, and it still has a little over a year left.

M-DOT Engineer Paula Wiles said that the northbound bridge is almost done.

"We have just completed the bridge deck for the first bridge. We still have some additional work to do on it."

According to Wiles, after the northbound side is complete, the next step is the southbound bridge. In order to work on that side, the southbound traffic will be diverted to the new northbound side.

But there's a lot that has to be done before that can happen.

"Hopefully within the next two months, we'll have it ready. Of course, that's all depending on weather," Wiles said.

Weather has certainly been an issue recently when it comes to construction.

"The cold and the rain have really slowed down the progress on this project," she said.

Progress can also bring an added danger. Though the Highway Patrol hasn't recorded an extreme number of accidents in the construction zone, there have been some. Mississippi Highway Patrol Corporal Jason Gazzo said, "First day of school at Harrison Central, we had multiple vehicle crash, with multiple children. Minors, sent to the hospital."

He said that none of the minors had serious injuries.

A week and a half ago, when the first freeze hit, there was a multiple car pileup at the construction site. M-DOT officials said the construction wasn't to blame.

"That was actually in the southbound lanes, coming across the existing bridge, so it was not in the construction area," said Wiles.

She also had some advice for drivers in the area.

"Just be careful of the workers, and go slowly through a construction zone."

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