I-20 westbound in Jackson re-opens early

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The Mississippi Department of Transportation announced around 1 p.m. Sunday that it had re-opened westbound lanes of I-20 in Hinds County that had been closed since Friday night for bridge repairs.

Crews were removing traffic control devices and full access to the westbound lanes was expected by around 2 p.m. Sunday, according to an MDOT statement.

The closure, which began at 10 p.m. Friday, was necessary to repair the bridge over Valley Street that was damaged in two trash fires set recently underneath the bridge.

The fires damaged the bridge deck concrete and steel girders underneath the bridge span. The contract for the work was let in February and awarded to Gibson & Associates Inc. for $313,000. MDOT will need to close the entire westbound bridge span to traffic to make the repairs.

“Closing the bridge to traffic for an entire weekend will allow crews to work quickly and efficiently with the federal funding that we have,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath said in a press release last week.

“Due to the location of the damage on the bridge span, keeping the bridge open to traffic during repairs would take approximately three months and significantly more funding. This shorter time frame is a better option for the traveling public and will save taxpayer dollars,” McGrath said.

I-20 westbound had been closed at the I-55 south split (Exit 44), and traffic. Additionally, I-20 westbound on-ramps at State/Gallatin Street, Terry Road and I-55 northbound were closed. Raymond Road was also closed under the bridge.

Motorists wanting to travel west on I-20 were diverted to I-55 north to I-220 south to return to I-20 westbound.