Skip to main content

Bridge Repairs Force Temporary Shutdown of Interstate 20 West in Jackson

Recommended detour for Saturday's commencement ceremonies. More information is available at

Drivers traveling to Mississippi College’s two spring commencement ceremonies on May 6 could encounter traffic issues along Interstate 20 in Jackson.

Portions of Interstate 20 westbound will temporarily closed to motorists all day Saturday at the I-55 South split or Exit 44 due to bridge repairs, says the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Drivers along this stretch of I-20 in Jackson are advised to take alternate routes to reach the Clinton campus for MC ceremonies for the Class of 2017.

By doing so, parents, other family members and guests should arrive at the MC commencement ceremonies at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on time. The events are set to begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Christian university’s basketball arena.

Why the road closures?

Mississippi Department of Transportation officials say repairs are being made to a bridge along Valley Street. It was damaged due to trash fires set by vagrants in 2012 and 2014, says Melinda McGrath, MDOT’s executive director. The fires damaged the bridge’s concrete deck and steel girders.

“When damage is done, it is our responsibility to fix it,” McGrath said. The work will cost about $313,000.

The bridge repairs in metro Jackson are due to be completed by the end of the weekend.

Drivers in the vicinity of the temporary I-20 West road closure could use I-220 or U.S. 80 as alternate routes to get to the Clinton campus. Travelers could take I-55 North and cut over to I-220 and then connect with I-20 to reach Clinton. It is expected to add up to 16 more miles to the journey.

I-20 Eastbound in Jackson will remain open.

Work on the Valley Street bridge repairs will resume 10 p.m. Friday evening. As a result, drivers attending Mississippi College’s Graduate School commencement beginning at 7 p.m. won’t be re-routed from I-20. The School of Nursing ceremonies are set for 2 p.m. Friday at Swor Auditorium.

The temporary road closures impact many drivers beyond the MC graduation. An MDOT news release alerted drivers from Atlanta to Dallas of traffic being re-routed to take care of the bridge work.