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U.S. 49/Midtown Project enters 2nd phase of construction in Hattiesburg

February 16, 2023

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 7:00 PM CST

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -The U.S. Highway 49/Midtown Project will continue its construction processes in the Hub City beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The multi-phased traffic improvement project will take place for the stretch of U.S. 49 from O’Ferral Street to Adeline Street.

The project will help expand access to Forrest General Hospital by shifting the U.S. 49/Mamie Street traffic signal to Camp Street, installing an additional traffic signal at U.S. 49 and West Adeline, improving traffic circulation on Arlington Loop and providing a more efficient route to Midtown from the highway and provide a dedicated pedestrian and bicycle pathway from Kamper Park to Midtown.

“That redevelopment area is just so key to our community with the pillars, Southern Miss, Hattiesburg Clinic [and] Forrest General, being anchored there,” said Chad Newell, ADP president. “This project, the midtown masterplan really dates back 10 years ago.”

With businesses being developed in the area like the Hattiesburg Clinic’s Administrative Office and the Jones Logistics headquarters, Newell says the redirection of the traffic and the additional access points along U.S. 49 are essential.

“The road improvements are just a necessary byproduct of all of the development,” Newell said. “So, you can’t have development without the suitable infrastructure in an area and so the economic development highway grant dollars will improve traffic moving east-west from U.S. 49.”

Although some businesses along the new construction site might experience traffic redirection, owners of University Florist and Gifts say the finished project will be worth it, once the project is completed.

“So, long term, we feel it’s going to be very beneficial for our business here and we continue to be in a good location,” said Jim Strickland. “But of course, like everyone else we are concerned short term especially with not knowing exactly how everything is going to work until it gets in place.”

This is the second of seven phases for the traffic improvement project, according to Newell. However, access to the Forrest General hospital Emergency Department has not changed, with the North and southbound traffic continuing to use Mamie Street as it currently exists.

“So, it’s a multi-year, multi-phase project so there will be kind of short-term pain for long-term gain,” Newell said. “There will certainly be some roads that are closed and redirection of traffic flow and so I encourage all of our citizens to just be patient because it’s real progress in the area.”

All work on U.S. 49 will be performed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. with one-lane closures only.