June 30, 2014 11:13:16 AM
TUPELO -- Mississippi Department of Transportation officials say the new four-lane section of Mississippi Highway 6 into Tupelo is scheduled to open July 15.
A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 10 a.m. near the Hancock Drive interchange south of Tupelo High School.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the ceremony will mark completion of the $27 million final paving project on the road from U.S. Highway 45 in Tupelo to Interstate 55 at Batesville. Other sections of the highway have been open for several years.
Tupelo District Construction Engineer Jamie McDonald said inclement weather has delayed the opening of the final 10-mile segment, which had been projected earlier for late May or June.
McDonald said no traffic will be allowed on the new roadway until after the official ceremony.
The final link has been designated U.S. 278/SR 6, but it's expected to be known as Highway 6.
The almost-finished ribbon of pavement will provide an uninterrupted four-lane link from U.S. 45 to Interstate 55 in Batesville, via Pontotoc and Oxford.
Earlier, officials said the new roadway nearest Tupelo is fully controlled access, but it becomes a controlled access with grade-level crossings in more rural areas. The speed limit probably will be 65 mph, officials have said.
About $42 million was spent on earlier phases of the final segment, bringing total anticipated investment to $68 million for the approximately 10 miles.