U.S. 98 East

U.S. 98 east
Interstate 55 south/U.S. 98 east near the city of McComb (pop. 13,337). This shield assembly refers to U.S. 98 in trailblazer form, yet U.S. 98 actually overlaps with Interstate 55 between Exits 20 and 15. This particular assembly is found south of the Delaware Avenue/Exit 17 interchange. Photo taken 10/23/03.
The last of three McComb area interchanges is the Exit 15 cloverleaf. Pictured here is the Exit 15B ramp departure for Mississippi 24 west. Mississippi 24 eastbound was overtaken by U.S. 98 when U.S. 98 relocated onto the freeway. Westward Mississippi 24 merges with Mississippi 48 to travel 21 miles to the village of Liberty. Photo taken 10/23/03.
U.S. 98 eastbound departs Interstate 55 southbound via the Exit 15A cloverleaf ramp. U.S. 98 travels eastward along Presley Boulevard into south McComb to U.S. 51. Originally U.S. 98 and 51 overlapped between this intersection and the town of Summit to the north. A relocation was presented to divert through traffic away from downtown McComb. Photo taken 10/23/03.
The first set of Interstate 59 south/U.S. 98 eastbound shields. Unlike northbound, traffic in southbound is only allocated a single ramp to access both U.S. 98 west and Mississippi 198/Hardy Street east. Photo taken 06/01.
To U.S. 49/Mississippi Gulf Coast use Exit 59 guide sign on Interstate 59 south. This sign is posted to redirect traffic to U.S. 49 along U.S. 98 and corresponds with signage on Interstate 59 southbound at Exit 67/U.S. 49. The intentions are to keep through traffic on the freeways as opposed to the congested routing of U.S. 49 through the city. Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 south advance guide signage for U.S. 98 east/Exit 59. This corridor is also important for travelers headed east to Florida. Photo taken 06/01.
Interstate 59 southbound at the split with U.S. 98 east. This interchange takes up quite a bit of real estate, and appears to have room allocated for a potential extension of the U.S. 98/south Hattiesburg expressway to the west. Traffic woes plague U.S. 98 west of the Interstate 59 and a bypass may be needed in the future. Photo taken 06/01.
Eastbound U.S. 98 at U.S. 49 on the southside of Hattiesburg. U.S. 49 is the main corridor for Interstate 59 and all points north to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Guide signage along Interstate 59 indicates to drivers to use U.S. 98 to this interchange. That is why... Photo taken 06/01.
Leaving the Hattiesburg metropolitan area on U.S. 98 eastbound is this mileage sign. Control destinations read: New Augusta - 16; Lucedale - 52; Mobile - 82. Photo taken 06/01.
Continuing eastbound on U.S. 98 in Forrest County. U.S. 98 between Hattiesburg and the state line is quite scenic, with an extremely wide right-of-way and many alluring curves. Photo taken 06/01.
Nearing the Perry County line on U.S. 98 eastbound. The slow rolling hills also add to the appeal of this route. It was not until the mid to late 1980s that all of U.S. 98 between Hattiesburg and the state line was four-laned. Photo taken 06/01.
Perry County Line reference signage on U.S. 98 eastbound. Traffic tends to be light on U.S. 98, with the bulk made up by out of state traffic from Jackson, Memphis, Tennessee, and points north and west traveling to and from the upper Gulf Coast and Interstate 10. Photo taken 06/01.
Mississippi 29 shield assembly on U.S. 98 eastbound. Mississippi 29 is a rural route between Wiggins and New Augusta, much of which enshrined in the De Soto National Forest. The approximately to New Augusta sees this stretch at a 45 mph speed limit for a short distance. Otherwise, all of U.S. 98 is posted at 65 mph between Interstate 59 and the Alabama state line. Photo taken 06/01.
Downtown New Augusta guide signage for Mississippi 29 northbound on U.S. 98 eastbound. Mississippi 29 continues as a relative backroad between New Augusta and Ellisville (to the southwest of Laurel). Photo taken 06/01.
Approaching the Beaumont segment of Mississippi 198. This is one of numerous stretches of old U.S. 98 kept within the state route system as Mississippi 198. Mississippi 15 also sees its return from the obscurity, beginning at this upcoming interchange. Photo taken 06/01.
U.S. 98 travels over Mississippi 15/198 and sees a parclo interchange with those highways. Mississippi 15 is split between two segments, one between U.S. 90 and Mississippi 26, the other between this junction and the Tennessee state line near Walnut. Photo taken 06/01.
Crossing into Greene County on U.S. 98, near the western terminus of the McLain portion of Mississippi 198. McLain, like Beaumont, is a sleepy small town with a population of 536. The south Mississippi 57 trailblazer is in relation to the fact that Mississippi 57 overlaps the eastern half of Mississippi 198. Photo taken 06/01.
The U.S. 98/Mississippi 57 overlap on eastbound. Mississippi 57 from McLain to Leakesville is an east-west orientated highway, although still signed as north-south. Mississippi 57 was at one point Mississippi 59. At that point the route terminated at then U.S. 98 in McLain. The portion from McLain eastward to Leakesville was signed as Mississippi 594. Leakesville (pop. 1,129) is the county seat for Greene County and is 15 miles from this location. Photo taken 04/25/02.
Crossing the Chickasawhay River on U.S. 98 eastbound. The waterway brings water from the Meridian vicinity southward to the Pascagoula River nearby. The next stop for U.S. 98 is the Lucedale vicinity. Photo taken 06/01.
Advance guide signage on U.S. 98 eastbound for the Mississippi 63 expressway bypass of Lucedale. This new alignment of Mississippi 63 allows traffic to continue northward to U.S. 98 uninterrupted with a 65 mph speed limit. Photo taken 06/01.
Mississippi 63 shield assembly on U.S. 98 eastbound. This is one of only two signs that indicate Mississippi 63 northbound is to overlap with U.S. 98 to the original routing. Otherwise, signage in Lucedale itself retains Mississippi 63 shields throughout the old alignment. Photo taken 06/01.
A standard diamond interchange facilitates movement between the two corridors. The Mississippi 63 guide signage is affixed with a green-out over the future northern control city of Leakesville. The south sign tab is temporary as well, as eventually the expressway of Mississippi 63 is to extend northward. Photo taken 06/01.
Detail of the Mississippi 63 guide signage at the eastbound U.S. 98 exit. Both highways are lightly traveled, so only a diamond interchange is needed. Interestingly enough, the 2000 opened highway extends about 150 feet north of U.S. 98, and already has a southbound guide sign for U.S. 98 west in place. Photo taken 12/08/00.
Here is what the interchange looked like when the new alignment was still under construction. This interchange, one of two on the new bypass, opened for business fall of 2000. There is also an interchange with Mississippi 26 to the south. Photo taken 10/20/99.
This is what U.S. 98 looks like as it heads eastward from the Mississippi 63 overpasses. This photograph was also taken during construction. Note that the exit ramps were just composed of red clay bases at this point. Photo taken 10/20/99.
Flashers delineate traffic movements at the U.S. 98 and Mississippi 63 intersection. Mississippi 26 trailblazers are present in both directions, as Mississippi 63 was the primary route to that east-west thoroughfare that ends in downtown Lucedale. Northward, Leakesville is situated 17 miles away. Photo taken 08/21/01.
MDOT standard is to place 4-Lane Ends advisory signage at the end of any expressway type alignment. Since U.S. 98 carries a 65 mph speed limit and no traffic lights between the Alabama state line and Hattiesburg, it definitely fits that category. Photo taken 06/01.
The signs in the above photograph did not lie, as U.S. 98 indeed narrows to two lanes at the Escatawpa River crossing for the Alabama state line. This section of highway was repaved Winter of 2000/2001. Photo taken 06/01.
The Escatawpa River as seen from the right-hand shoulder of U.S. 98 westbound. This two lane bridge is in the process of receiving a twin span. The new bridge that is under construction will carry the eastbound lanes. Photo taken 06/01.
Although this photograph is actually just across the state line, it is a fitting end to this U.S. 98 phototour throughout southeastern Mississippi. This two lane version of U.S. 98 persists eastward to Semmes, a distance of roughly ten miles. Bypasses for Semmes and Wilmer are in the planning stage, and all of U.S. 98 will eventually be four-laned between Hattiesburg and downtown Mobile. Photo taken 06/01.

Page Updated February 22, 2004.

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