RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is nearing the completion of the U.S. Highway 49 project in Rankin County.

Both directions of U.S. 49 are in the six-lane configuration from the end of the project in Richland to Cleary Road. Crews anticipate the roadway being opened to six lanes from the end of the project to Florence by the end of Friday, July 1.

“It’s about four and half years into it. We’re happy to be at the finish line here now,” explained Michael Flood, MDOT Public Information Officer.

“We are happy to announce that this reconstruction project is almost finished, however we ask everyone to remain cautious when traveling the area as there will still be workers and daily lane closures,” said Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons. “After next week, crews will have traffic opened back up to six lanes following the daily lane closures. These lane closures are necessary for crews to finish paving shoulders and turn lanes at intersections throughout the project.”

According to MDOT, all six lanes are expected to be fully opened to traffic by the end of next week. There will be daily lane closures in the area while crews finish working.

“Once it opens, we’ll have three new lanes and a shoulder in each direction. So, it’s going to open up all of Highway 49. It’s going to make it a lot safer to travel and more efficient to travel through there. If you travel to the beach or you live in the area, you’re going to be having a lot smoother and quicker drive time on Highway 49 going forward. So, we appreciate the public being patient with us and allowing us to get this just massive 7.5-mile project completed in Rankin County,” said Flood.

The project remains on track to be completed by late summer 2022. Once complete, there will be three travel lanes and a shoulder in each direction.