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Interstate 59 Northbound - Hattiesburg to Meridian

Interstate 59 North
Interstate 59 northbound at Exit 76 for the rural Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport. Wonder if they have non-stop service to San Diego? Photo taken 06/01.
The first of two Ellisville interchanges on Interstate 59 northbound is for Exit 85. This junction connects with Mississippi 590, a short state highway between U.S. 11 at Ellisville and U.S. 49 at Seminary to the west. Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 northbound at Exit 88 for Mississippi 29 and 588. Mississippi 588 ends at this junction from the west, linking Ellisville with U.S. 49 at Collins. Mississippi 29 is a north-south route between New Augusta at U.S. 98 and Soso at Mississippi 28. This interchange is situated within the corporate limits of Ellisville (pop. 3634). Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 northbound approaching Exit 90 for U.S. 11/Ellisville Boulevard. U.S. 11 crosses Interstate 59 from the east, only to cross back over from the west at Exit 93. Photo taken 06/01.
The first of two U.S. 11 interchanges on Interstate 59 between Ellisville and downtown Laurel. This guide sign is located on northbound and uses "NEXT RIGHT" in lieu of an arrow. This signing practice has since been abandoned for new signage, but can found on various Interstate 59 related guide signs through the Magnolia State. Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 leaves the Exit 93 folded-cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 11 near Laurel Municipal Airport and enters the city of Laurel. The freeway passes under Airport Road on the 2.75 mile drive to downtown. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59 northbound one-mile guide signage for the Exits 95A/B 16th Avenue full-cloverleaf interchange. This interchange marks the south end of a three way overlap between the Interstate and U.S. 84 & Mississippi 15. The guide signage in the background indicates that Exit 95B also serves Southeastern Baptist College and a hospital. Photo taken 06/12/04.

Interstate 59 begins an easterly curve at Exit 95A for 16th Avenue South. This cloverleaf interchange is situated just to the west of the notoriously bad "Laurel Curve". Traffic must reduce in speed from this point northward to 40 mph. 16th Avenue southbound extends the U.S. 84/Mississippi 15 roadway southward to U.S. 11 and the southside of town. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59 northbound at Exit 95B for U.S. 84 west/Mississippi 15 north along 16th Avenue north. The two highways travel west of downtown before splitting to Collins and Bay Springs respectively. Advance guide signage for Beacon Street/Exit 95C is placed within this cloverleaf as well, as traffic must prepare early as the exit is after the "Laurel Curve" begins. Interstate 59 began as a U.S. 11 freeway under construction through Laurel in 1955, with the designation applied in 1956. The freeway opened through Laurel in 1961. Photo taken 06/12/04.
The advised speed limit is 40 MPH with these warning signs. However, the actual posted speed limit is also 40 MPH (see next photograph). This is not a speed limit to be taken lightly, as police rigorously enforce it along Interstate 59 around downtown Laurel. The third lane is a misnomer, as it quickly becomes an exit-only affair to Beacon Street. MDOT is in the process of redesigning the Interstate 59 "S" Curve and construction was let June 27, 2006. The existing curve and Beacon Street interchange will be eliminated and replaced with a straighter design and new partial-cloverleaf interchange. Jefferson Street will also see realignment to facilitates movements onto Interstate 59 south and too Southern Regional Medical Center. An Environmental Impact Statement was first undertaken on this project in 1986-88! Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 northbound/U.S. 84 eastbound/Mississippi 15 southbound entering the "Laurel Curve". The overhead signage, attached to the 13th Avenue overpass, is for Exit 95C/Beacon Street, the interchange situated midway along the curve itself. The speed limit sign in the background indeed reads 40 MPH. Exit 95C points of interest include the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Within the actual "Laurel Curve" itself, is the sharp right-hand exit for Beacon Street serving downtown Laurel. This ramp takes a hard right onto a Royal Street east that connects with Beacon Street. A return ramp is situated just beyond this gore, so drivers must also dodge merging traffic while navigating the curved roadway. Beacon Street otherwise parallels U.S. 11 (Ellisville Boulevard) two blocks northward from downtown Laurel southwest to 13th Avenue. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59 north/U.S. 84 east/Mississippi 15 south reassurance shields. This is a highway anomaly in that each of the route classifications is represented and that Interstate 59 and Mississippi 15 form a wrong-way duplex. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59 north, U.S. 84 east, and Mississippi 15 south first cross Beacon Street and then the Norfolk Southern Railroad and parallel U.S. 11 (Ellisville Boulevard). Both bridges and this entire freeway section will be dismantled and replaced with a new straighter alignment that crosses the intersection of Magnolia and Royal Streets. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59, orientated in an east-west fashion briefly before curving back to the north, northbound at Exit 96A for Fourth Avenue/Masonite Road. Note the lack of a deceleration lane for the exit ramp and the overall cramped quarters. Exit 96A consists of a split-diamond interchange with 4th Avenue to the west and Masonite Road to the east. Both surface streets stem south from Maple Street to an industrial area at Limbert Street. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Northbound drivers are quickly faced with the next exit after passing over Fourth Avenue for Mississippi 15 south/Exit 96B. Also in quick succession is the return ramp from Exit 95C onto Interstate 59 north to contend with. All of this occurs while Interstate 59 north continues its northeasterly turn. Photo taken 06/12/04.
A brief auxiliary lane joins Interstate 59 north, U.S. 84 east, and Mississippi 15 south at the Walters Avenue under crossing. Mississippi 15 south departs the freeway ahead for Cooks Avenue southeast. The state highway links Laurel with De Soto National Forest, Ovett, Richton, and the U.S. 98 corridor at Beaumont. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Leaving the downtown area on Interstate 59 northbound at the Exit 96B partial-cloverleaf interchange. Mississippi 15 (Cook Avenue) heads south 28 miles to Richton and 41 miles to its end at Beaumont. There is a second Mississippi 15 that travels between Mississippi 26 east of Wiggins and U.S. 90 at Biloxi. Eventually MDOT plans on linking both highways. Otherwise, Cook Avenue north carries old Mississippi 15 to junction U.S. 11 (5th Street / Cross Street). There is however no direct access to old Mississippi 15 northbound at this interchange. Photo taken 06/12/04.
A short distance north of the split with Mississippi 15 is the split with U.S. 84 east (Exit 97). U.S. 84 follows Chantilly Street eastward from Laurel on a 29-mile drive to the Wayne County seat of Waynesboro and junction U.S. 45. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Interstate 59 northbound at the Exit 97 partial-cloverleaf interchange with Chantilly Street. Chantilly Street west (old U.S. 84) heads four blocks to U.S. 11 (Meridian Avenue / Daughdrill Street). U.S. 84 east constitutes a four-lane highway from Interstate 59 to U.S. 45. The highway continues from Waynesboro to Coffeeville and Grove Hill, Alabama. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Veering northeast, Interstate 59 finally travels on its own and leaves the city of Laurel. A rural stretch of freeway encompasses the 50-mile drive to junction Interstate 20. Photo taken 06/12/04.
U.S. 11 follows Meridian Avenue northward out of Laurel before turning east to cross paths with Interstate 59 at a diamond interchange (Exit 99). Photo taken 06/12/04.
Exit 99 lies seven miles southeast of the U.S. 11 community of Sandersville. Interstate 59 and U.S. 11 parallel one another closely to Sandersville before separating toward the Jasper County line. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Approaching the merge with Interstate 20 east on Interstate 59 north. Interstate 59 is still through rural areas at this point, but quickly enters the city of Meridian to the east. Westward Interstate 20 travels 85 miles to downtown Jackson along a rustic stretch of forested freeway. Signage on Interstate 59 northbound for the merge with Interstate 20 was replaced by fall of 2002. See Robert E. Lee's Southern Highways for photos of the replacements. Photo taken 12/08/00.
Northbound Interstate 59 at Interstate 20 west of Meridian. The two Interstates overlap to the east and north between this interchange and Birmingham, Alabama. Total mileage of the Interstate 20 and 59 overlap is 153 miles. Photo taken 12/08/00.
Closer look at the Interstate 20 and 59 panels in the above photograph. Note that there is no exit number for the Interstate 20 westbound panel. The right-hand panel includes an Interstate 59 Mississippi shield. The two highways enter the city limits of Meridian just to the east of this interchange. Photo taken 12/08/00.
The first exit on the Interstate 20 and 59 overlap eastbound is for Exit 150/U.S. 11 and Mississippi 19 south. The two highways hop aboard the freeway through much of the Meridian area as shown by the left-hand panel. Note that Interstate 59 exit numbers are used on the overlap in Mississippi. Photo taken 12/08/00.

Page Updated November 26, 2007.