U.S. 49 From Florence to the Scale Area in Richland

Richland, Mississippi, and Florence, Mississippi

Michael Baker provided full construction, engineering and inspection services, including final roadway and bridge design and surveying services for the reconstruction of 8 miles of U.S. 49 in Mississippi from the Scale area to just south of Highway 469 in Rankin County.

The U.S. 49 From Florence to the Scale Area project included the reconstruction of a heavily trafficked highway that badly needed repairs. The old jointed concrete pavement was at a point of failure, the poor drainage was causing issues with pavement, and businesses and the many median crossovers created safety concerns.

The project increased the capacity of the existing highway and eliminated the gridlock that was a daily frustration to the drivers of more than 80,000 daily vehicles. Throughout the design and construction stages, Michael Baker and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) collaborated with local business, landowners, and the public to ensure information was communicated promptly and precisely.

Several daunting challenges were encountered in constructing one of the largest projects undertaken by the state of Mississippi, with minimal impact to traffic. These challenges included poor soil conditions, complex utility relocations, and driveway, access and drainage issues. Weekly meetings with the contractor, along with formal partnering meetings, were essential to keep all parties working together harmoniously.

The completed project provides improved access to businesses, safety access management with R-cuts and improved intersections, as well as offers a timelier commute with newly interconnected signals and an intelligent transportation system. As one of the largest construction projects in Mississippi, the noteworthy project preserves and enhances the character of the communities, while saving time and reducing frustrations for commuters.


“Being one of the most traveled highways in the state, the cities of Florence and Richland and their respective businesses desperately needed relief from the traffic congestion on U.S. 49. Michael Baker’s design provided the most economical solution possible while handling the current and future capacity needs.”

– Brad White
Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Transportation

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