New four-lane route opening from coast through NE Miss.

Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A brief ceremony Wednesday will officially open a 11.9-mile stretch of Mississippi 25 and give motorists a chance to drive on four-lane highways from the Gulf Coast through northeast Mississippi to the Tennessee line.

Northern District Transportation Commissioner Bill Minor said the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in the southbound lanes of the highway south of Louisville.

The contract was awarded on Nov. 26, 2002. It marked the final phase of expanding Mississippi 25 from two lanes to four lanes between Jackson and Starkville.

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It also marks the first time the drivers can travel continuous four lanes of highway from Gulfport through Hattiesburg to Jackson via U.S. 49 to Interstate 20, then north on Interstate 55 or Airport Road in Rankin County to Mississippi 25, then east on U.S. 82 at Starkville to U.S. 45 north through Tupelo and Corinth to Tennessee.

Another four-lane Coast-to-Tennessee route uses U.S. 49 from Gulfport to Jackson, and I-55 from Jackson to Memphis.

This Mississippi 25 project is part of the 1987 Four-Lane Highway Program, passed by the Legislature to improve more than 1,800 miles of roads.