JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Department of Transportation engineers have re-opened the eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 after finishing work on the Lynch Creek bridge a day earlier than expected.
This means local commuters and interstate travelers will no longer have to take the detour routing eastbound traffic to Highway 80.
Rain passed through the Metro Sunday and Monday, potentially slowing down the bridge work, but once crews began removing the concrete found the process to be much easier than anticipated. Engineers found the old concrete layer on the bridge to be in better shape than expected, speeding up repairs.
“We were somewhere in the range of 15,000-18,000 psi to cut the concrete,” Engineer Brian Ratliff told 12 News. “We got the heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to vacuum up all the debris that was broken up from the concrete.”
MDOT was forced to close I-20 East between Ellis Avenue and Gallatin Street to renovate the Lynch Creek bridge after cracks and exposed rebar were found during the last safety inspection conducted on the bridge.
“Even considering all the rain that we’ve had, the project is still ahead of schedule,” said MDOT Public Information Officer Michael Flood.
“[The concrete was] a lot softer so it came off a lot quicker and easier than anticipated,” Flood said. “Which is part of the reason why we’re a little ahead of schedule.”
Engineer Ratliff said as many as 100 men and women worked on this project and were split into 12-hour shifts.
MDOT will now begin working on the westbound lanes of I-20 beginning on Friday. Crews will close the westbound lanes beginning at 7:00 P.M.