Work on U.S. 11 to resume after rain delay

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2006

For about the past three weeks, long awaited and badly needed work to a small section of U.S. 11 north of Mississippi 43 ceased as rains wet the ground and slowed the process.

Monday marked the first day in weeks that the Mississippi Department of Transportation resumed work on the heavily traveled stretch of U.S. 11.

Widening the roadbed with dirt has to be completed before the area can be paved, said District 6 Engineer for MDOT, Ricky Lee. The dirt is being stored at the south bound exit 6 from Picayune, he said.

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Most of widening needs to be done closer to the Hide-A-Way Lake area, Lee said. However, when it rains the dirt stays wet for about a week, keeping the workers from proceeding further until the dirt dries, he said.

“It depends on the rain they have had there,” Lee said about the wait.

In the past few weeks, the rains have not provided MDOT with an opportunity to keep work moving, Lee said. If the department can get about a month of dry weather then they could possibly finish their project in that time, Lee said. He said the department is about a third of the way complete with the project.

Widening began on June 22, with no tentative date of completion as an effort to help the City of Picayune with its increased population and traffic.

Recently, development to build a new McDonald’s at the intersection of U.S. 11 and Mississippi 43 N. began causing concerns of even more traffic. Lee said they are taking that new development into consideration.

“We are aware of their work there, and we are coordinating,” Lee said.

Lee said businesses are required to make provisions to accommodate the increased traffic they will create with new development. He said MDOT also plans to build a right turn lane at the south bound intersection of Mississippi 43 N. and U.S. 11.