Work begins to widen stretch of Hwy. 145 in Saltillo

The $1.3 million project is expected to take about four months.

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Drivers move along a dangerous stretch of Hwy. 145 that will soon be widened. Construction has begun to add a turn lane on the highway at Birmingham Ridge Road, in front of Dollar General. Future widening is planned all the way north to the traffic lights at Old Hwy. 45. News photo/Jason Collum

SALTILLO | Caution barrels and barriers have gone up along a portion of Hwy. 145 near Birmingham Ridge Road as the first phase of a widening of the highway has begun. 

Phase 1 of the project will address the long-needed problem area at Birmingham Ridge Road as a turn lane will be installed. That portion of the project is expected to take about four months to complete, and motorists are urged to use caution traveling from Saltillo to Tupelo and especially turning on Birmingham Ridge Road and into the Natchez Trace Villas neighborhood.

The work on Phase 1 was approved by the Mississippi Department of Transportation in December when the bid on the project was awarded to Cook and Son, LLC, of Smithville, for $1.3 million.

After this project is completed, the next phase will begin, likely in the fall, to widen the road northward and add a turn lane along Hwy. 145 to another dangerous intersection on the stretch of roadway, at Industrial Park Road.

The third phase in the widening plans will complete the turn lane all the way north to Todd’s Big Star, giving area residents a much safer roadway into Tupelo.

Mayor Copey Grantham said in a Facebook post he was glad that the project will finally become a reality.

“Birmingham Ridge and Hwy 145 is one of the most dangerous intersections in Lee County, so I’m very excited to see the progress begin,” Grantham wrote. “This will also be a major upgrade to our great City!”