May 22, 2014 10:27:10 AM
After three years of construction, seven miles of northbound lanes on Highway 45 South will be opened today. Southbound lanes still require a finishing layer of asphalt and should be completed by July 4, contractors said.
The newly completed four-lane will run from Carson Road in Lowndes County to Highway 388 in Brooksville. It is part of a $18-million project that began in March 2011.
Phillips Contracting is in charge of the project. Phillips Contracting CEO Bob Phillips said the project has been delayed due to weather and changes to the plans made by MDOT.
"We're on schedule as far as the time that we've got now, but it's been right at a year over-run on the time because of the weather and items that MDOT has added the project," Phillips said Tuesday.
Those items include drainage structures and ensuring soil stability, he said.
The final layer of paving will begin a week from Monday and should last two to three weeks.
Phillips said his crew is working on a second project that begins four miles south of Highway 82 and runs approximately six-and-a-half miles to Carson Road.
"We've got the job cleared, we're starting the dirt work and bridge work and putting erosion control measures in place," Phillips said.
He said that project is expected to be completed in August 2015.
In total, both projects should create 14 miles of four-lane highway.
"When it's all said and done you'll have about 14 miles of four lane highway from Brooksville to four miles south of 82," he said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. Ex-office manager arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY