JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi Department of Transportation will close the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 in Hinds County next weekend to repair the bridge over Valley Street.
MDOT said the concrete bridge deck was damaged from two trash fires set underneath the bridge.
The fires damaged the bridge deck concrete and steel girders underneath the bridge span.
“We depend on local governments to enforce vagrancy laws, but with everyone experiencing budget challenges, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “MDOT does not police vagrancy laws underneath bridges across the state, but when damage is done, it is our responsibility to fix it.”
Gibson & Associates Inc. has been contracted to complete the work for about $313,000, MDOT officials said..
MDOT will need to close the entire westbound bridge span to traffic to make the repairs from April 28 through May 1.
“Closing the bridge to traffic for an entire weekend will allow crews to work quickly and efficiently with the federal funding that we have,” McGrath said. “Due to the location of the damage on the bridge span, keeping the bridge open to traffic during repairs would take approximately three months and significantly more funding. This shorter time frame is a better option for the traveling public and will save taxpayer dollars.”
I-20 westbound will close at the Interstate 55 south split (Exit 44), and traffic who miss the recommended detour will be diverted to Interstate 55 southbound at 10 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and will be back open by 6 a.m. on Monday, May 1.
Also, I-20 westbound on-ramps at State/Gallatin Street, Terry Road and I-55 northbound will be closed. Raymond Road, underneath the bridge, will also be closed.
DETOUR: Motorists wanting to travel west on Interstate 20 are encouraged to take Interstate 55 north to Interstate 220 south to return to Interstate 20 westbound. Motorists who miss the detour can turn around by taking the McDowell Road interchange back to Interstate 55 northbound to Interstate 220 south.
Advanced warning and detour signs will be placed:
- ahead of all on-ramps to Interstate 20 westbound in the Jackson Metro Area,
- along Interstate 20 westbound in the Jackson Metro Area,
- ahead of on-ramps to Interstate 55 southbound north of the closure and Interstate 55 northbound south of the closure in the Jackson Metro Area,
- along Interstate 55 in the Jackson Metro Area and
- on all Dynamic Message Boards (DMS) in the Jackson Metro Area.
Crews will follow this process to repair the bridge.
- Traffic will be shut down on the bridge, and crews will mobilize for repairs. This will take approximately four to six hours.
- Crews will then saw cut the perimeter of the repair area and remove the damaged bridge deck using hydro demolition or water blasting. This process does not destroy the rebar in the deck like a jackhammer or other alternative methods. This will take approximately 10-12 hours.
- Crews will chip out by hand a vertical portion of the removed section to even out concrete.
- Damage to the rebar will be assessed, and any necessary repairs will be made.
- Temporary wood form for concrete pouring will be applied.
- Crews will then form and cast the new bridge deck concrete. This is expected to take approximately 24 hours to the point of allowing traffic to return to the bridge.
- Joints at the repaired area will be resealed. This will take approximately four hours.
- Crews will demobilize and reopen the bridge to traffic.
Motorists are encouraged to find an alternate route or use the recommended detour. Interstate 20 eastbound traffic WILL NOT be impacted by this closure.
Should this work be delayed due to inclement weather, the alternate dates will be
- 10 p.m. May 5 – 6 a.m. May 8
- 10 p.m. May 12 – 6 a.m. May 15
- 10 p.m. May 19 – 6 a.m. May 22
“We appreciate the patience of the public during this repair to a major travel and freight corridor,” McGrath said. “This repair will occur within the shortest time-frame and most efficient manner to reduce the impact to the traveling public.”