Officials want drivers off virgin asphalt of unfinished road

September 1, 2018

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s newest interstate highway is not ready quite yet, and drivers should stay off.

That’s the message the Mississippi Department of Transportation is sending about Interstate 269 in DeSoto County.

Officials say a 9-mile (14.5-kilometer) section from Mississippi 305 to Interstate 55 is scheduled to open later this year.

However, spokesman Jace Ponder says some drivers are going around barricades and using the road now. Department Chief Engineer James Williams says it’s unsafe to drive on the road now because workers are present, lanes aren’t striped, and pavement remains uneven. Williams says motorists could damage the highway and cause delays.

Interstate 269 is Mississippi’s largest current highway construction project, costing more than $600 million. A section from Mississippi 305 in Lewisburg to Interstate 40 in Tennessee is already open.

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