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I-61...anything new?

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golden eagle:
This is the proposed Jackson-to-Gulfport interstate that is expected to parallel U.S. 49. Talk about the interstate circulated a few years, but since Katrina, I haven't heard or read any new news about it.

I don't see why this interstate couldn't be built. It would become another badly-needed hurricane evacuation route and an alternative to the ever-growing number of traffic lights that have popped up on 49 between Florence and Hattiesburg. But I-61 can't be built, can changing 49 to a limited-access freeway work?

I'm not all too familiar with the section of U.S. 49 north of U.S. 98, but the portion south of U.S. 98 could be easily converted to a full freeway, as there isn't too much growth between Hattiesburg and S.R. 67. I'm not sure what the traffic counts are... if they would be high enough to have the route considered for a freeway upgrade.

Be well,


Stephane Dumas:
I spotted on MS DOT, the project study of a relief route known as MS-601 who's planned to be a full freeway, maybe I-61 could be part of it

^^ Good info.

Be well,


I've never heard a specific number applied to the Jackson-Gulfport Interstate...just that MDOT and the Legislature have desired an Interstate along the corridor.  It was included in MDOT's Vision 21 plan passed by the Legislature in 2002.  The MS 601 freeway project is part of that.

US 49 traffic is fairly heavy overall.  It averages about 20K ADT between Jackson and Hattiesburg...a bit lower around the mid-10s between Hattiesburg and Wiggins...then back up to close to 20K between Wiggins and the north side of Gulfport.  Not necessarily enough to justify a full freeway, though definitely enough to justify improvements to the existing 4-lane.


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