Officials celebrate major intersection improvement project in Jefferson County

Published 11:37 am Monday, February 13, 2023

JACKSON, MISS. — Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons and officials gathered this morning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 61 and State Route 553 near Fayette to cut ribbon on an intersection improvement project that enhances safety throughout Jefferson County.

The project includes the implementation of a J-Turn at the busy intersection, a safer alternative to typical multi-lane highway intersections. A recent study showed that J-Turns can reduce injury crashes by more than 40 percent, and fatal crashes by 70 percent. On top of the safety advantages, J-Turns are also a more cost-effective choice to other alternatives.

“This intersection was one of the most dangerous intersections according to statistics and the number of accidents that occurred here,” said Simmons. “It was a project that we made a priority. Working with our District Engineer, the local community, Board of Supervisors and Mayor, we were able to bring it to a reality.”

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Commissioner Simmons was joined by Fayette Mayor Londell Eanochs, Sen. Albert Butler, Rep. Jeffery Harness, Jefferson County Board of Supervisors President Anthony “Bruce” Walton and District Engineer Earl Glenn to celebrate the completion of the intersection improvement project.

J-Turns can dramatically reduce crashes relating to crossing and turning left at multi-lane highway intersections. The number of conflict points between vehicles are reduced, and those that remain are less severe. Using this type of turn will substantially improve safety for the traveling public throughout the area.

“Since it has been operational, I am told there have been no serious accidents,” said Simmons. “A large number of vehicles travel this portion of highway, about 5,000 per day coming through here on Highway 61, so I’m excited.”

The $2.7 million contract was awarded to G. Rayborn Contracting. Contract time began in September 2021. Stay updated at, download the MDOT Traffic mobile app and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.