Highway 45 bypass still a month away

Steve Swogetinsky
Meridian Star
Tuesday, April 3, 2001; Page 2A

QUITMAN -- The opening of the Highway 45 bypass around Quitman is at least a month away, according to state highway department officials.

This project is part of a multi-billion dollar four lane program passed by the Legislature in 1987.

Highway 45 currently runs through downtown Quitman.  When the new road opens, southbound travellers will have an option to take the Clarkco State Park exit, head around Quitman to the east of town before going back to a two-lane road in Desoto.

It had been hoped that the new four-lane road would be open to traffic by now, said Sharpie Smith, district engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.  But that has been pushed back a month.

"They still have to pave the connection ramp on the south side," Smith said.  "They need about seven good working days without rain to complete the work, and we hope they'll get it this month.

"We are looking for it to be finished by the first week in May."

The work is still under the deadline, he added.

Smith said most of the signs have been put up.  The road still needs to be striped, and some of the sides have to be reworked.

In a related matter, Dunn Roadbuilders is the apparent low bidder to pave the Highway 45 four-lane bypasses of Shubuta and Waynesboro.  Smith said those bids will be formally accepted next Tuesday.  It is expected these projects will take about two years.

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Last updated 10/27/01