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New Highway 550 bridges open

FOREST SUMRALL/THE DAILY LEADER / Mississippi Department of Transportation workers lay striping to the recently completed roadway and bridges on Highway 550 on Tuesday morning before opening traffic through them. Construction on the project began in March 2012 at a cost of $4.5 million.

FOREST SUMRALL/THE DAILY LEADER / Mississippi Department of Transportation workers lay striping to the recently completed roadway and bridges on Highway 550 on Tuesday morning before opening traffic through them. Construction on the project began in March 2012 at a cost of $4.5 million.

Mississippi Department of Transportation officials opened traffic late Tuesday morning to two new bridges on Highway 550.

Employees from T.L. Wallace Construction Inc. out of Columbia began work on the bridges, one located within the Loyd Star community and the other a mile east toward Brookhaven, in March 2012 at a cost of $4,558,604.

The project was undertaken due to the two bridges’ structurally deficient classification, MDOT Public Information Officer Kenny Foote said.

“Once it’s under that classification, we mark that under our top priorities,” Foote said. “Those bridges were getting close to the end of their life.”

Foote said there is still some work to do as the construction crew must now remove the temporary detour roads and bridges.