The Charleston Court Square was closed to vehicle traffic Tuesday while work crews painted yellow and white stripes on the newly asphalted street surface.
The striping is one of the final touches added to a three-month, $1.47 million state project that led to the milling and overlay of some 3 miles of 32.
The nice, smooth street surface and the newly striped parking spaces and traffic lines give downtown Charleston, including the boulevard, East Main and South Clay streets, an appealing, fresh appearance devoid of potholes and age cracks.
In fact, we can say the same for infrastructure improvements are ongoing or completed in many other areas of the county.
Large sections of Mississippi Highway 32 between Charleston and Webb have been included in two separate multimillion-dollar Mississippi Department of Transportation projects.
One result is a new 335-foot-long concrete railroad bridge that rises 35 feet above what used to be a dangerous highway-level railroad crossing at Mikoma. Twelve other timber pile bridges built in the late 1940s have been replaced with new concrete bridges or box culverts. A big stretch of this roughly 17-mile-roadway has been elevated. The overlay has left something to be desired. There are sections of new asphalt that are not smooth, and some big dips have sorely tested shock absorbers.
Nearly $5 million is being spent on an MDOT project to replace the Black Bayou bridge on U.S. Highway 49 East near Glendora. That project recently kicked into high gear, and we are sure the new modern structure will be impressive. Above all, it will be safer than the old.
Highway construction work has been ongoing on Highway 49 East and Highway 49 West in the Webb-Sumner-Tutwiler areas. It has made for a much smoother ride.
On the announced but not yet scheduled list are multimillion-dollar projects to replace the Highway 49 bridge over Hopson Bayou in Tutwiler and the Highway 32 truss bridge which crosses over the Tallahatchie River at Strider.
The improved appearance is nice, but enhanced safety is the primary goal of each of these projects, and for all of this work we are very appreciative.
That said, on our wish list of future undertakings would be the restriping, if not resurfacing, of Highway 32 between Charleston and Oakland. The boundary stripes, in particular, can be lifesavers at night. Conversely, the absence of a stripe marking the outside edge of the highway is a safety risk.