Mississippi has 6 Interstate routes, four 2dis (I-10, I-20, I-55, I-59) as well as two 3dis (I-110, I-220). All four 2dis are fairly significant, as they each serve a different travelshed and carry heavy cross-state traffic.
Currently, there are 2 more Interstates proposed, one officially and one unofficially. The officially proposed Interstate is I-69, which nationwide would be extended from its present terminus in Indianapolis, to the south and west through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas to the Mexican border. Within Mississippi, it will run generally from the Mississippi River near Benoit to the north and east, exiting into Tennessee in the Memphis area.
The unofficially proposed Interstate, dubbed I-22 by some, would run along US 78. Business and community leaders along the corridor are pressuring MDOT and ALDOT to pursue an Interstate designation, and requests for legislation have reached Congress. It is now looking likely that US 78 will have an Interstate designation upon its completion in Alabama and once a connection within Memphis is constructed, if not sooner.
Although some have speculated that it would be an Interstate spur, the proposed "Metro Jackson Parkway" connecting downtown Jackson to Jackson International Airport is not planned to become an Interstate, and may not even become freeway-standard.
Mississippi has been blessed with a multitude of U.S. Highway routes that run through the state. Seven east-west routes, six north-south routes, and one 3-digit route crisscross their way across the land. On top of this, two of the north-south routes split, each serving different parts of the state before they reconnect. This makes for a rather extensive U.S. Highway network. Even though four of the routes have had interstates built parallel to them, the original U.S. route is still maintained, as Mississippi is one of those states that does not turnback their U.S. routes that are supplanted by Interstates.
From north to south, the even routes are US 72, US 78, US 82, US 80, US 84, US 98, and US 90. From west to east, the odd routes are US 65, US 61, US 49, US 51, US 11, and US 45. US 278 runs east-west between US 78 and US 82. US 49 splits into US 49E and US 49W at Yazoo City, and they reconnect at Tutwiler. US 45 has an alternate, US 45 Alt, which deviates at Brooksville and reconnects at Shannon.
Mississippi's primary highway system consists of 47 1di and 2di routes, connecting the many smaller towns and cities in the state. Most of them are original Mississippi state highways, albeit with the usual tweakings over the years. One is a relatively recent addition, while one is a suffixed route off of another. No numbers higher than 69 are used. Also, there are no even numbers higher than 50. The only exception to these two is MS 76, which was added and used for some of the Appalacian Corridor V routing.
Although it appears that all of the 1di/2di routes were given their numberings arbitrarily, there is a rough crude system that you can pick out if you look carefully. Generally, odd numbers run north-south, starting with MS 1 along the Mississippi River going to MS 39 in eastern Mississippi, then a second odd run from MS 43 to MS 69. It appears that MS 41 was arbitrary. Even numbers tend to be east-west, with MS 2 up north to MS 26 down south. It appears that the other even numbers are arbitrary.
There's a rough system to the 3di routes as well. 3XX routes are up north, 4XX and 5XX routes cover central Mississippi, and 6XX routes are down south. Again, as with the 1/2-digit routes, even routes are signed east-west, and odd routes are signed north-south.
The Meridian Multiplex
The Meridian Multiplex, as I have come to call it for lack of a better term, is an interesting combination of state, U.S., and Interstate highways. Five routes are multiplexed together for a fair distance through the southern part of the city of Meridian, and this included a sixth route at one point in time. This is interesting not in the least because Mississippi is a state that usually maintains the old US route along those highways that are paralleled by an Interstate. One reason why this may not be the case in Meridian is because the Interstate was overlaid directly onto US 11/80 along Tom Bailey Drive.
Originally, US 11, US 45, US 80, and MS 19 all went through the middle of Meridian. US 11 went southwest/east, US 45 northeast/south, US 80 west/east, and MS 19 northwest/southeast. This all changed starting in the '50's, when US 80 was rebuilt to the south of downtown, starting near Lost Gap, and US 11 was duplexed with it. This section from Lost Gap to MS 39 was rebuilt to Interstate Standards during the 1960s and 1970s, and I-20/I-59 were routed along it. All three US routes and MS 19 were eventually multiplexed with the Interstates, leaving maintenance of the old highways through the middle of Meridian to the city and county. Over the past few years, the US 45 bypass has been completed, routing US 45 east and southeast of Meridian. This still left 5 different routes with 3 jurusdictions saddled together along a 4+ mile stretch. Not a very common sight in Mississippi.
Information for my webpages comes from a variety of sources. My pages on the various Mississippi state routes are based on a variety of maps and publications that are available from MDOT, and are supplemented by observations by myself and those who have E-mailed me. My Alabama route pages (once created) will be based on maps with original data from Dave Sturm's pages, while my Louisiana route pages (when I get to them), will be based largely on my DeLorme Louisiana Atlas. Construction info is based on my own observations, MDOT publications, and the Bid Awards and Proposed Letting pages on MDOT's webpage.
My Twin Cities and Minnesota pages are based on memory, as I grew up in Minneapolis and frequently travelled the area, and on the wealth of information I have received from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). For Freeways of the Deep South, all of my non-Interstate lists (and a few of the 3di Interstates) are from notes from my travels on them. The major Interstates are based on the Exit Authority and The Next Exit, and edited with my notes if I have been on that route. On occasion, I have ventured into online maps, terraserver images, or topographic maps to clear up inconsistencies with my lists and pages.
A "ROUGH" Current Status
So far, I have completed freeway exit lists for Mississippi, Alabama, and the Twin Cities metro. I also have some rant pages up, concentrating on Mississippi and the Twin Cities. I have bare-bones route listings for all Interstate, US, and 2di state routes in Mississippi, and am slowly working to add pages on the rest of the routes.
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Last updated 4/26/02