GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – On Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) awarded a $1.8 million contract to T.L. Wallace Construction, of Columbia, to make repairs to State Route 26 in George County. The highway was damaged after a large landslide caused the roadway to washout during Hurricane Ida. The incident killed three people.

“Our engineers surveyed the damage and worked with geotechnical experts, and were able to determine the most efficient plan of action,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District.

The design includes using a drainage blanket. Crews will bring rock in and install a pipe in order to capture the groundwater in the area. They will then place additional rock over that and layer additional geotextile fabric over it. Soil will be placed on top of the geotextile fabric, along with a rock base and eight inches of asphalt.

“MDOT has expedited everything according to this project, based on accumulating information, to design, to getting ready to let a contract and then to have a contractor come in and do the work expeditiously, that’s what our goal is,” said Kelly Castleberry, District 6 Engineer.

Detours will remain in place until the project is complete, which includes State Route 57 south to Interstate 10 and SR 57 north to U.S. Highway 98. Once SR 26 is reopened, crews will repave the local detour route used during the closure.

MDOT expects to wrap up the project in early 2022. SR 26 is expected to be open early winter 2021.