UMMC employees and students cross State Street on a weekday afternoon.

A traffic safety project near The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) will continue this week on North State Street.

Workers will begin staging barrels along North State between Lower and Upper East Stadium drives Monday for a pedestrian safety project.

The project will add a new crosswalk and median between UMMC and Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The work will include improvements to existing sidewalks in the block between East Stadium drives. It will also replace the existing traffic signals with mast arm traffic signals.

The new crosswalk will help control pedestrian traffic at Lower East Stadium Drive. Known as a “hawk signal,” the crosswalk will include signs and flashing red lights to stop motorists when pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

“Thousands of pedestrians and about 25,000 motorists use this section of State Street each day,” said Commissioner Dick Hall, Central Transportation District and chair, Mississippi Transportation Commission. “Currently, pedestrians have one crosswalk at Upper East Stadium. The new crosswalk at Lower East Stadium will provide a signal-controlled crossing at a site already used by many pedestrians as an unofficial crossing.”

The project will be constructed in two main phases. The first phase consists of sidewalk work and is expected to last about eight weeks. Vehicle traffic will be reduced to the four inside travel lanes to allow construction on the outside lanes.

For the second phase, crews will construct a new median, which is expected to take six weeks. Vehicle traffic will be reduced to the four outside travel lanes while workers are present on the inside lanes.

During both phases of the project, orange fencing, barrels and signs will direct pedestrian traffic to Upper Stadium Drive.

“This is a heavily-used area of Jackson, and motorists should allow themselves more commute time in this area while these safety improvements are under construction,” Hall said. “Pedestrians should also be mindful of signs and stay out of work zones.”

The North State project is the second segment of a $1.5 million pedestrian safety project near UMMC that included a new traffic signal at the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Avenue and Peachtree Street.

The work on Woodrow Wilson, which began in late March, is nearing completion. Installation of new mast arm traffic signals and application of intersection striping are expected to be completed by mid-August. The Peachtree intersection will reopen at that time.

Funding for the project comes from a Mississippi Development Authority grant. Hemphill Construction, of Florence, is the contractor, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is the project administrator.

Work zones and detours present new traffic patterns and configurations that can cause confusion. For information about how to navigate highway work zones safely, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

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