Road construction will begin July 11, 2012 on a damaged section of the Natchez Trace Parkway at Milepost 94.8, south of Ridgeland, MS. This section has been closed since March due to a failure in the road base that made the road unsafe for vehicular travel. The National Park Service (NPS) had continued to allow bicycle use within the closed section after determining it was safe for bicyclists to pass over the damaged portion of Parkway. However, the arrival of construction crews will require bicyclists to detour around the active construction zone for a distance of 1/2 mile.
Detour (Bicycle Traffic):
In an effort to keep the Parkway open for bicycling, during the construction period, bicyclists will be able to continue using the closed section of Parkway. However, bicyclists will not be able to ride through the construction zone. This means that as bicyclists approach the construction area, they will be directed around the closure. This will require bicyclists to dismount and walk down a 26 degree slope, then walk the bikes past the construction area, and up the slope on the other side.
Bicyclists are encouraged to use extreme caution when walking past the construction area. The NPS will monitor this detour and may close the section to bicyclists if it becomes necessary.
Detour (Vehicular Traffic):
The detour for vehicular traffic is still in effect for this area. The closure will remain between I-55 and US 49.
Southbound traffic will exit the Parkway at I-55 South (MP 101.1), to I-220, to US 49 North, where traffic may reenter the Parkway.
Northbound traffic will exit the Parkway at US 49 South (MP 92.9), to I-220 North, to I-55 North, where traffic may reenter the Parkway.
The National Park Service is working with the Federal Highway Administration to make repairs to this roadway section. Construction is scheduled to be completed in October 2012.