Project Highlight: Highway 82

A 4.5-mile section of Highway 82 through Greenwood, MS was completed in mid-May, just a couple of weeks before Memorial Day and the traditional kick-off to the summer travel season. While this project was completed ahead of schedule, it was not due to the ease of the job. This project had some challenges and its success is strictly due to the crews performing the work.

Last fall, work began on Section 1 of the project, milling and overlaying the asphalt on the frontage roads along Hwy. 82. With a deadline of November 30, Levester “Duke” Watt’s crew finished more than a month ahead of schedule with the aid of Shannon Minga’s crew performing the milling cleanup.

Yet, when Section 2 of the work began on the mainline, the asphalt was milled to reveal the concrete beneath was in terrible shape. Even after a subcontractor replaced the broken sections of concrete allowed by MDOT, there were still 1,340 dips and bumps that show up on MRI outside of the spec. Michael Ellis, Operations Manager for the Southern Ops, said, “What Duke and his crew have done with the bumps and dips is nothing short of amazing. And, they did it on a 4-lane road running right through the middle of town, with schools on both ends and restaurants throughout.”

Duke’s crew is based out of Grenada, 20 miles from Greenwood, but some of the crew members commuted as far as 50 miles to the job. They also had to compensate for weather, with Greenwood having 31 inches of rain so far this year, which is significantly above average. Finishing on schedule with favorable results when faced with less than ideal conditions, bad weather and long commutes can only be attributed to one thing: Commitment.

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