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Louisiana to begin I-20 Mississippi River bridge work in January 2020

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Photo by Rene Gomez - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76201376

A nearly 50-year-old major interstate crossing over the Mississippi River will soon be receiving a face lift and modern structural improvements, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced Nov. 15.

The project to rehabilitate the two-mile-long Interstate 20 bridge over the Mississippi River is set to begin in the next couple of months.

Built in 1973, the bridge connects Madison Parish, La., to Warren County, Miss., and provides one of the few interstate roadway crossings over the river.

The $27.7 million project will provide a number of significant repairs including the bridge deck, electrical system, and roadway lighting components.

“Ensuring these integral crossings over the Mississippi River are properly maintained and modernized is crucial to growing the state’s economy,” said Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson in a statement. “This project will extend the service life of this bridge for decades to come, an example of strategically investing in our existing infrastructure with our available funding and maximizing the use of those dollars.”

The old deck will be resurfaced with new concrete to improve traction and preserve the structural aspects of the bridge flooring. The current electrical circuits will be replaced, in addition to the replacement of nearly 100 roadway lighting fixtures with a modern LED system.

Roadway fiber optics will also be replaced with new cameras and radar, which will integrate the system into Mississippi’s IT network.

Additionally, selected bridge bearings will be adapted to provide the ability to re-position the bridge truss upriver as necessary. The steel structural connections at certain locations on the bridge will be modified to improve resilience against all loads and conditions.

New navigational lighting and aerial beacons will also be installed, along with improvements to the bridge monitoring system and enhancements to the inspection access walkways.

During construction, single-lane closures will be required, though there will be no lane closures conducted in both directions at the same time in order to maintain traffic flow as much as possible.

Work on the project is expected to begin mid-January 2020 and is anticipated to wrap up in early 2021, with progress dependent on weather conditions.

 

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Deion Sanders coached high school to championship before leaving for JSU

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Jackson State University head coach Deion Sanders coached his last high school football game last night at Trinity Christian High School where they won the Texas Christian Athletic League Championship.

Sanders is the Tiger’s offensive coordinator and his son, Shedeur, is the team’s starting quarterback. They defeated the Heir Eagles Academy 59-28 to finish with a great 8-3 record.

Sanders posted members of his team on Twitter after the big win and showed how proud they are to be the champs.

Sanders also had three Vicksburg natives on the championship team who all contributed to winning the big game. Shardez Taylor, Marvin Martin Jr, and Quentin Pollard all had great performances this season for the Tigers.

Saturday’s game marked Sanders’ final game at Trinity. His focus is now on his new Jackson State football family. He was named head coach for JSU two months ago. He has already begun bringing in major recruits for Jackson State,  including Shedeur who will be joining him next year.

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Vehicle takes out hydrant and utility pole

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Photo by David Day

A single vehicle collision has taken out a fire hydrant and a utility pole on Cherry at Baum.

Photo by David Day

At 10:40 p.m. E-911 Dispatch received a call that a dark blue Kia SUV had impacted a utility pole on Cherry Street near East. The first officer on scene called in that a fire hydrant had also been impacted and that water was gushing into the roadway.

Photo by David Day

Neither the driver or the passenger of the Kia was injured however a man was taken into custody at the scene.

No disruption of utility services in the area was noted and that traffic was flowing smoothly.

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Crime

High speed chase ends in fiery crash

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(photo by David Day)

A high-speed chase Saturday evening that began near the Waffle House in Vicksburg has ended in a crash in Claiborne County and a vehicle in flames.

First reports indicate the incident began around 5:10 p.m. as an argument at the Waffle House at 4100 Pemberton Square Blvd. A man and woman left the scene and stopped at a Shell gas station on U.S. Highway 61 South where the man pulled the woman, who is pregnant, out of the vehicle by her hair.

The man, Bojara O’Quinn of Claiborne County, then fled, leading Vicksburg police officer Michael Battle on a high-speed chase south on 61 South. The chase exceeded 110 mph at times.

The chase ended just inside the Claiborne County line on Shiloh Road in a crash where the vehicle, reportedly a rental with Illinois plates, burst into flames. The crash occurred right at 5:30 p.m.

O’Quinn is in custody and received minor injuries in the crash. The woman involved received very minor injuries and is apparently safe.

Deputies with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department, and troopers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol assisted in O’Quinn’s capture.

Bojara O’Quinn (photo by David Day)

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