Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Tuesday, April 5, the contractor for the Hwy 49/Midtown multi-phased traffic improvement project will begin work on Phase One. Announced in February, this project will expand access to Forrest General Hospital by shifting the Highway 49/Mamie Street traffic signal to Camp Street and installing an additional traffic signal at Highway 49/West Adeline. It will improve traffic circulation on Arlington Loop and provide a more efficient route to Midtown from Highway 49. Once completed, the project will also provide for a dedicated pedestrian and bicycle pathway from Kamper Park to Midtown.
Phase One of the project is estimated to take between four and six months, and it will include the Camp Street/Mamie Street intersection on the west side of Highway 49 only. During phase one, you will see the following changes made for the general flow of traffic (a map is also enclosed for reference):
- 27th Avenue will be closed North of Camp Street. North of this closure will remain open to traffic.
- West Frontage Road will be closed between north of Camp Street to Mamie Street. Access to Community Bank will remain open throughout the duration of construction. All southbound traffic south of Camp Street on West Frontage Road will be directed to Highway 49 or South 28th Avenue.
- Mamie Street will be closed from South 28th Avenue to the entrance of FGH staff parking lot. South of this closure will remain open to traffic.
- Camp Street will be closed from Hwy 49 to South 28th Avenue. Camp Street east of Hwy 49 will remain open.
To access the Forrest General Hospital Emergency Department:
- From Highway 49: North and southbound traffic will continue to use Mamie Street as it currently exists.
- From 28th Avenue: Traffic will use a temporary roadway across the FGH staff parking lot between 28th Avenue and Mamie Street.
Detour and directional signage will be posted throughout the FGH campus and along Highway 49 and 28th Avenue.
“The impact of this project will be felt for decades, and we’re grateful to see signage go out and dirt begin to move,” said Barker. “As a whole, it will greatly enhance the quality of life for current residents while providing opportunities for the growth of Forrest General Hospital and aid in better access to many of the current and future developments in Midtown.”
The total cost of the project is $4,654,776.19, with $2.5 million coming from an Economic Development Highway grant issued by the Mississippi Development Authority in 2015. The remaining will be covered by local match funds from the City of Hattiesburg and Forrest General Hospital.
The estimated completion date is late 2023 but is dependent on the weather.
Barker added, “As with all traffic projects, it will have some travel inconveniences and we ask the public’s patience as we enter the first phase of construction.”
To reduce the impact on traffic, this project has been broken down into seven smaller phases in isolated areas. Additionally, all work performed on Highway 49 will be performed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. with one-lane closures only.
For all details regarding the project, its history and more, visit hattiesburgms.com/hwy49.