This report stems from my Thanksgiving weekend trip to outside Nashville on November 23, 2005.

Quick MS notes

Drove up to the Nashville area yesterday on a Thanksgiving invite.  Got a few MS-related notes from the trip:

- Construction is well-ongoing with Phase 3 of "The Stack", in Jackson, MS. Grading on a widened US 49 immediately south of I-20 is continuing...the US 49 portion runs from a little north of where Old US 49 splits off (about 2 miles south of I-20) north to I-20.  The parallel frontage roads have been partially rebuilt and construction continues on the access ramps to/from the frontage roads.

- Construction on the future flyover from NB US 49 to I-20/55 continues. Steel girders have been placed on all but one of the spans of the future flyover. Further west, the braided ramps on the westbound I-20 side connecting WB I-20 and the new 49 flyover to NB I-55 are mostly complete. The project also includes an auxiliary 5th lane on NB I-55 between the Stack and the Pearl St exit.

- Since my last time on MS 25, there has been *HEAVY* development along the roadway between Flowood and MS 471, including the addition of several traffic signals. Sadly, none of these traffic signals are coordinated with each other, making for very poor traffic flow.

- MS 25 in northeastern Rankin County is also afflicted with what I'm calling the "Mississippi Clay Curse". The underlying soil, which is mostly clay, makes for poor roadbuilding conditions. After a road is built, there is a slow and VERY uneven settling process in this clay, making for a lot of lumps and dips in the road surface. I-20 in eastern Rankin and western Scott Counties has the same problem. MDOT has done several pavement replacements on that segment of I-20, all to no avail. It appears they haven't tried anything with MS 25 since it was 4-laned about 15 years ago.

- Guide signs on MS 25 from Carthage to Starkville now mostly use Series E-Modified font (FHWA guide sign standard, more or less), rather than the "Mississippi standard" which seems to be Series C.

- Two segments of MS 25 still to open to 4 lanes...both in Winston County. The southern segment roms from just northeast of MS 19 to near Noxapater Creek (about 6 miles SW of MS 15). Traffic along here is 2-lane/2-way on the future northbound lanes. Base paving appears to be complete along this segment...workers were taking a grader along the shoulders and medial crossovers as I passed by.

- The other segment runs from Old MS 25 northeast of Louisville to the Winston/Oktibbeha County line. Traffic here is in the future southbound lanes. This segment appears to be futher paving is underway. Part of this segment within Oktibbhea County has just opened up to 4 lanes within the past week (MDOT had a press release on Monday the 21st saying it would open to 4 lanes the next day.

- Around Louisville itself, the MS 15/25 junctions are interchanges on each side...trumpet on the south, and a 6-ramp par-clo on the north (including an unmarked exit from NB MS 15). The MS 15/25/14 junction is still a 4-way stop.

- Somewhat to my disappointment, the MS 25 portion of the Starkville bypass is NOT a freeway. There are a few at-grades between the various interchanges.

- The US 82 part, on the other hand, is full freeway, with the main lanes and even exit ramps paved in concrete. Quite nice. MS 12 and MS 25 are fully signed along US 82 as far as ALT US 45 now.

The rest of my trip was along familliar and not-really-changed roads.  Got gas in Lexington, TN for $1.909/gal. Traffic on WB I-40 was *THICK* between Parkers Crossroads and Kingston Springs...much thicker than eastbound. Thick traffic which caused a problem in the short segment of I-40 in Carroll County (west of US 641) where some sort of accident in the westbound lanes formed a 3 mile backup.

Happy Thanksgiving, all...

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