RIDGELAND — Work on the $22 million Lake Harbour Drive extension is slightly ahead of schedule, city officials said this week, as progress is clearly visible to those driving throughout the area.
Recently, beams were installed for the I-55 overpass closing the I-55 southbound lanes for short periods overnight.
Public Works Director Mike McCollum said that the project moves forward in two phases. First is the roadway, which is currently most visible to the public. The second phase is the box culvert at the Canadian National Railroad that was installed this summer.
“As of the last pay request they had completed 33 percent of the work in about 30 percent of the time,” McCollum said. “I don’t have an exact update on the box culvert portion but they should be done very soon.”
Mississippi Department of Transportation is paying for 80 percent of the project through federal funds. City officials have mentioned that they may use a portion of the just under $20 million in bonds issued to fund major capital projects in the city to fund the rest of their 20 percent of the project.
Mayor Gene McGee said that based on his last update, the project has a target completion window of July 2020.
“Eutaw Construction is doing a great job,” McGee said. “They are ahead of schedule and should be finished next July. This project will be a phenomenal addition to our city.”
McCollum said that they have installed the box culvert, but are still working on portions of the contract that involve relocating the flow of Purple Creek.
“They are working hard every day,” McCollum said.
Southbound lanes of I-55 were closed two nights this week in order for Eutaw Construction to work on the Lake Harbour Drive extension bridge over I-55 southbound lanes. Southbound lanes between Old Agency Road and I-220 for intermittent, 30-minute periods Tuesday and Wednesday evening between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for construction work.
During this time, the Natchez Trace Parkway and Old Agency Road southbound ramps remained closed until 6 a.m. each morning.
Southbound commercial vehicles on I-55 were detoured onto Colony Park Boulevard and traveled east to US 51.
The contractor coordinated this event with MDOT and the Ridgeland Police Department.
The extension of Lake Harbour Drive will permit motorists to travel from Highway 51, the current endpoint of Lake Harbour Drive, across the Canadian National Railroad and over I-55 to the Highland Colony Parkway.
The large and complex project includes several steps including an at-grade railroad crossing, culvert replacement, multiple utility relocations, connection to a state highway, and an interstate bridge.
Duncan Dent, Madison County Journal