U.S. 412 Construction Going Strong in Bootheel

July 6, 2004 -- Posted at 4:15 p.m. CDT

HAYTI, MO  -- It never seems to fail that when you are in a hurry, you run upon a maze of construction barrels outlining roadwork. But some Region 8 drivers see those orange barrels as a sign of progress and not just another reason to slow down.  U.S. Route 412 completes the 14-mile corridor between Hayti and Kennett.

It's a road that has heavy traffic and that has been under construction for the last four years according to MODOT Resident Engineer Brian Holt. 

"It's a heavily traveled route for trucks coming through from Tennessee going over to Arkansas, and that's the heaviest stretch we have as far as traffic between Kennett and Hayti. The existing 412 is in pretty bad shape," said Holt, "We've got a nice divided highway for traffic to travel back and forth."

Contractor Bill Cox of Robertson, Inc. said, "It's just a lot of traffic. It's unreal the traffic that we deal with out here, across these bridges here. Getting in and out, it's just an awful lot of traffic, we've really needed it for a while."

The fifty million dollar project is expected to take six years to complete, and though it's only three-fourths of the way done, you can see progress.

"We've also completed an 8 mile stretch in Pemiscot County from Hayti towards Kennett. We also have going grading and paving projects to finish out what portion we have left here in Pemiscot County and a job for one to build new bridges over floodway ditches and doing the earthwork for the new east bound lanes," said Holt.

The Hayti bypass was opened to two lanes in May, something officials say couldn't come soon enough. But, so far the project is on pace for the projected completion date of 2006.

"It is a little inconvenient to the traveling public, because we have to shut the lanes down, moving traffic to bypass the detour. It is a little bit of an inconvenience, but we think it's an inconvenience that's worth it once we get the four lanes done," said Holt.