US 45 in Mississippi
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US 45 is a US Highway in the US state of Mississippi. The road forms a north-south route through the east of the state, from the Alabama border through Meridian, Tupelo, and Corinth to the Tennessee border. US 45 is 447 kilometers long in Mississippi.
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US 45 north of Meridian.
US 45 at Tupelo.
US 45 runs like a divided highway through the east of the state. The entire route has a minimum of 2×2 lanes and is constructed as a freeway around Meridian, Tupelo and Corinth. Especially north of Meridian, US 45 is of major importance as the state’s second north-south route. The route leads mostly through wooded area that is fairly flat. Only in the Tupelo region is less afforestation. Meridian crosses Interstate 20 and Interstate 59 and at Tupelo Interstate 22. US 45 in Tennessee continues to Jackson.
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US 45 was created in 1926. The route has not been extensively modified in Mississippi since then. When it was created, almost the entire route was a gravel road, asphalt was only briefly found around Meridian and Tupelo. This situation had not improved significantly in the early 1930s, and almost the entire route was still unpaved in the mid 1930s. In the late 1930s, the northern parts were paved on a larger scale, especially around Corinth and Tupelo, but there were still long stretches of gravel road. By 1940 the rest of the route was quickly paved and by 1941 the entire US 45 was paved.
In about 1974, the first phase of the Meridian bypass opened between I-20/I-59 and Marion. This was also the first part of US 45 to have 4 lanes of traffic. The highway around Corinth opened around 1977 and US 45 was already constructed as a divided highway from Meridian a little further north. In about 1979 the first section of the highway opened around Tupelo, a short distance around the center. In 1982, this highway was extended north to US 78 and south to Shannon. In 1984, the highway in the Tupelo region was completed in its current form.
At the time, the rest of the route was still a single carriageway. It wasn’t until 1992 that work began on widening the rest of US 45 into a divided highway. The first section was between Booneville and Corinth in the north of the state. In 1996, US 45 was four-lane between Tupelo and Corinth and also opened the southern portion of the Meridian bypass as a freeway. Beginning in the late 1990s, larger sections were widened to 4 lanes, and nearly all of US 45 had been widened to 4 lanes by 2006, with the final section between Brooksville and US 82 west of Columbus, which was made four-lane between 2007 and 2015. On September 3, 2015, the last double-lane section south of Columbus opened. This is now the US 45 alternate.
Every day, 3,700 vehicles cross the Alabama border, rising to 5,000 vehicles at Waynesboro and 8,000 vehicles south of Meridian. The Meridian bypass has 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles and 4,000 to 5,000 vehicles further up to Columbus. On the highway around Tupelo, 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles and 16,000 vehicles drove up to Booneville. 10,000 vehicles were driving on the highway around Corinth.