Bridge work underway for relocation of MS 463 in Madison
The hint of the bridge that will soar over downtown Madison is beginning to emerge.
The project of relocating Mississippi 463 to connect to U.S. 51 is scheduled for completion later this year. Currently running slightly behind schedule, the work to construct a four-lane road and lengthy bridge over the railroad tracks stands at about 26 percent complete, said Neil Patterson, project engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
"The contractor is working toward finishing in October," Patterson said.
A 1,284-foot bridge is the key component of the project that routes traffic north of the existing two-lane section of Mississippi 463, which is called Main Street through town. The new new section of Mississippi 463 connects with the four-lane boulevard section that runs east from I-55.
The new bridge will rise approximately 33 feet into the air to clear the train tracks. MDOT and city officials have said the height of the bridge will make it easily visible from all directions.
A retaining wall for the bridge is almost complete, and all the drilled shafts and footings have been complete on the bridge, Patterson said. Work has also commenced just east on U.S. 51 on Hoy Road. The MDOT project also includes extending the four lanes of the new road on Hoy Road to Old Canton Road, he said. Tanner Construction bid $27.4 million for the job, almost 15 percent below the state estimate.
The construction resulted in the city's closing off two roads to through traffic. Pecan Hill Drive just past the parking lot of Madison United Methodist Church is shut down and so is Hoy Road Extension just past the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Madison.
"It has limited our access some, but people have been very good about it," said Glenn Holder, business administrator for First Baptist. "Sometimes it takes some inconvenience to make progress."
The current stretch of Main Street will remain open once the new road opens. Madison plans to convert it into a pedestrian-friendly area filled with shops and restaurants. Cars will still be able to travel on Main Street through what will be considered the city's historic district.