PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – An interstate closure in Panola County could affect the travel plans for Jackson State and Ole Miss football fans.

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), Interstate 55 southbound from the Batesville Exit (243) to the Pope Courtland Exit (237) will be closed for a bridge repair.

“This is an emergency bridge repair. They have been working on the bridge, and they have gotten to a stage where they need to do some beam replacement work. They are going to have the shut the interstate down. We are hoping that the weather will hold off and allow them to complete the work early,” explained David Kenney, MDOT Public Information Officer.

Detour signs will be in place at exit 243. Drivers can travel east on U.S. 278 to State Route 315, to State Route 7, and back to the I-55 Coffeeville exit (211). MDOT officials said arrow boards and signs will be placed along the detour route.

“The reason why work is being done on a weekend is to prevent the impact on 18-wheelers and other commutes of traffic. We do realize that there will be a lot of fans on the roads this weekend, and we’re hoping that the impact on them is minimal and that they can take this detour route and hope traffic flows smoothly. We want people to be aware that the detour is there, slow down, avoid distractions in the area and keep your speed within the speed limit,” stated Kenney.

The closure will be from 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9 until Monday, September 12 at 7:00 a.m.

Courtesy: MDOT

Jackson State will be in Memphis on Saturday to play against Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic, while Ole Miss will be at home to face Central Arkansas on Saturday.