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Council hears update on U.S. 11 work

Work to relocate utility lines in anticipation of the widening of Highway 11, which slowed due to design changes made by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, has picked up pace.

Brooks Wallace with Dungan Engineering was asked about the progress being made in that effort during Tuesday’s meeting after advising Picayune’s City Council that a change order to the project will provide $240,000 in savings.

Wallace said the change order was required to adjust for a change in the unit price of asphalt from $150 per square yard to $90 per square yard.

The Council approved the change order.

In relation to the work to relocate utility lines, Wallace said that meetings with representatives of MDOT have been going well.

While there were some initial setbacks due to design changes, recent discussions with MDOT about boring the rest of the utility lines to expedite the process have gone well.

Wallace said that MDOT has asked that the city have all utility lines relocated by July.

That is because it is MDOT’s hope that the widening project can be let by August and work can begin in September or October.

According to previous coverage, the first phase of the project will widen a section of that highway from the intersection of Lakeshore Drive to Cayten Street. The project will expand the road from two lanes with a central turn lane to four lanes with a raised median.

A second phase of the project will involve replacing the existing bridge over the East Hobolochitto Creek with a new one that will include a pedestrian path. The new bridge will be built on the east side of the existing bridge so traffic can still cross the creek.

A tentative timeline for the second phase is not set in stone, but MDOT is in the right of way acquisition phase, according to previous coverage.