US 11 in Mississippi
US 11 is a US Highway in the US state of Mississippi. The road forms a north-south route through the southeastern part of the state, from the Louisiana border through Hattiesburg and Meridian to the Alabama border. US 11 is 269 kilometers long in Mississippi.
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US 11/80 east of Meridian.
US 11 follows a diagonal south-north route through southeastern Mississippi. The entire route runs parallel to Interstate 59 and from Meridian also to Interstate 20. The largest towns on the route are Hattiesburg, Laurel and Meridian. Only in these places is the US 11 multi-lane expanded, the rest is single-lane. The route runs through largely wooded area.
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US 11 was created in 1926. When the route was created, almost the entirety of US 11 was a gravel road, only in the immediate vicinity of Meridian the road was asphalted. In the early 1930s, the section from Meridian to the Alabama border was asphalted. Then, in the mid-1930s, the route between Hattiesburg and Laurel was asphalted, as well as the southernmost section at Picayune. After that it went fast and in 1939 the entire US 11 in Mississippi was paved.
Between 1960 and 1968, I-59 was built parallel to US 11, so unlike other US Highways in southern Mississippi, there has never been a need to widen US 11 to 4 lanes. Partly because of this, the US 11 no longer has an ongoing interest.
Daily, between 2,000 and 5,000 vehicles run outside the cores parallel to I-59 from Picayune to Hattiesburg. 10,000 to 18,000 vehicles pass through Hattiesburg and then some 4,000 vehicles continue to Laurel. Up to 10,000 vehicles and 1,000 to 2,000 vehicles continue through Laurel to Meridian. East of Meridian there are 2,500 to 4,000 vehicles.
US 278 in Mississippi
US 278 is a US Highway in the US state of Mississippi. The road forms an east-west route through the north of the state, from the Arkansas border at Greenville through Oxford and Tupelo to the Alabama border. US 278 is 370 kilometers long in Mississippi.
US 61 and US 278 in western Mississippi.
US 278 between Oxford and Tupelo.
US 278 follows a somewhat illogical route through Mississippi. US 278 in Arkansas crosses the Mississippi River quite south at Greenville, after which the route is double-numbered with US 61, north to Clarksdale. This part is a divided highway. From Clarksdale, the route heads east to Batesville, where it intersects Interstate 55. Further east, US 278 is again a divided highway and leads via Oxford to Tupelo, the largest city on the route. From Tupelo, US 278 along with US 45 heads south as a freeway, then south east as a single-lane highway through Amory to the Alabama border.
US 278 was added to the US Highway network in 1952, and its western starting point was Tupelo at the time. It wasn’t until 1998 that US 278 was extended west into Arkansas, which also explains the weird route through Mississippi. By the late 1920s, about half of the route between Oxford and Tupelo was already paved, making the later US 278 one of the longer continuous tarmac routes in Mississippi at the time. In 1932, the first parts in the Mississippi Valley were also paved and by 1938 two-thirds of the route was asphalted, the middle part was the only expanded part, with gravel roads still in the late 1930s. In 1941 the entire later US 278 was paved.
The first section to be doubled (apart from the double numbering of other US Highways) was the Oxford bypass, which was built as a freeway in 1968. The reason for this was the location of the University of Mississippi in Oxford. In 1981, the route from I-55 at Batesville to Oxford was doubled to 4 lanes. In 1996 to 1998 the route from Oxford to Pontotoc was widened to 4 lanes. The last section was the Pontotoc bypass which opened in 1998. On July 15, 2014, a 16-kilometer-long new 2×2 divided highway route of US 278 opened near Tupelo. This completed the widening of US 278 from I-55 at Batesville to Tupelo.
Every day some 4,000 vehicles run between Clarksdale and Batesville and 12,000 to 19,000 vehicles between Clarksdale and Oxford with 32,000 vehicles on the Oxford bypass. Between Oxford and Tupelo, there were 6,000 to 9,000 vehicles and 2,300 at the Alabama border.