The long-awaited Highway 49 road project South of Jackson has come to an end after nearly five years. 

The Mississippi Department of Transportation welcomed lawmakers and state officials to the Highway 49 construction site on Monday as the agency wrapped up its lengthy construction.

The project, which repaired lanes and expanded lanes on Highway 49 as well as widened the corridor South of Jackson, cost roughly $235 million.

“Today’s ribbon cutting is just another example of what Mississippi is doing to invest in our state’s infrastructure. This project has been years in the making and I’m glad we could get it done,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “I’m grateful to Executive Director Brad White, Commissioner Simmons, and the entire MDOT team for working diligently to bring this project to completion!”

Work began in November 2017 and was originally slated to be completed by August 2020. However, due to traffic challenges and unpredictable Mississippi weather, the project lasted two years longer than anticipated, causing significant angst among drivers.

The 7.5-mile project stretches between Richland and Florence.  Roughly 50,000 motorists drive through the area each day. The area is also home to a slew of businesses both large and small, and is the primary corridor for those South of Jackson to enter the capital city.