U.S. 98 West - Alabama to Hattiesburg

U.S. 98 west
Presently U.S. 98 combines with Mississippi 63 westbound north of Lucedale between original Mississippi 63 and the Lucedale bypass. The overlap is temporary as Mississippi 63 will travel northward along a new four-lane expressway from its diamond interchange with U.S. 98 to a new alignment of Mississippi 57 east of Dueitt. Grading and paving were completed on the 14.1-mile extension by December 2006. Paving of the new roadway will commence in 2008. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Mississippi 63 southbound splits with U.S. 98 west at the interchange northwest of Lucedale. A greenout covers Leakesville as the future northbound control city. The Mississippi 63 expressway bypass of Lucedale opened in 2000 as part of a new four-lane route planned from the Gulf Coast northward to the U.S. 45 corridor at state line. When the route is complete, travelers will be able to drive from Moss Point northward to Meridian along a seamless four-lane route. The routing doubles as a hurricane evacuation route, an increasingly important role for the routing of Mississippi 63, Mississippi 57, and U.S. 45 after the Gulf Coast hurricanes of the mid 2000s. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Rural Ernest Pipkins Road intersects U.S. 98 just west of the Mississippi 63 interchange. The rural route links the U.S. highway with Mississippi 198 (Main Street) to the south and Beaver Dam Road to the east. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Hattiesburg mileage sign posted along U.S. 98 west after the Ernest Pipkins Road intersection. The towns of McLain and Beaumont also lie along the U.S. 98 corridor, but the four-lane highway bypasses both. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Typical scenery along the low rolling hills of southern Mississippi on U.S. 98. Much of the route was four-laned in the late 1980s. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Nearing the west end of the Lucedale version of Mississippi 198 (Main Street). Mississippi 198 represents the original routings of U.S. 98 bypassed by the newer four-lane routes throughout the state. Lucedale's Mississippi 198 follows Main Street east into downtown Lucedale, south of the northern bypass route. Photo taken 06/12/04.
U.S. 98 westbound at Mississippi 198 (Main Street) west of Lucedale. Mississippi 198 passes under the Mississippi 63 expressway with no access on the drive back to Lucedale. Once in downtown, the state route meets the east end of Mississippi 26 and original Mississippi 63. A stub of former U.S. 98 spurs west of the intersection to the four-lane road right-of-way. CF Eubanks Road ties into the Mississippi 198 west end from the north. Photo taken 06/12/04.
In this photograph, the eastern terminus of McLain's Mississippi 198 is profiled. Also at this location, Mississippi 57 ends its two mile overlap with U.S. 98 from the east. The two highways head towards downtown McLain before splitting. Mississippi 57 continues south of McLain all the way to Vancleave and Ocean Springs along the Gulf Coast. With that being stated, traffic is extremely light throughout that duration. Photo taken 04/15/02.
Another Mississippi 198 loops away from U.S. 98 at the town of Beaumont (pop. 1,054). A folded-diamond interchange joins U.S. 98 with its former routing (Travis Herring Road) at the beginning of Mississippi 15's northern segment. U.S. 98 rises to cross the adjacent Canadian National Railroad (formerly the Illinois Central Railroad) at the Mississippi 15 & 198 off-ramp. Mississippi 15 is the main route from U.S. 98 to the city of Laurel (pop. 18,827) although it only carries two lanes. As for Beaumont itself, the community is another sleepy town with a small street grid. Photo taken 10/14/00.
U.S. 98 leaves the Camp Shelby Military Reservation area and approaches the city of Hattiesburg. Staying a good distance south of the actual city, the U.S. highway interchanges with U.S. 98 at a directional-cloverleaf interchange. U.S. 98 originally followed U.S. 49 in an overlap from this point northward through Hattiesburg; Mississippi 198 along Hardy Street is the only vestige left from that original routing. A 1980s-built freeway spur carries U.S. 98 west from U.S. 49 directly to Interstate 59. U.S. 49 otherwise joins the city of Hattiesburg with Wiggins, Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a routing that someday may be a full freeway. Photos taken 10/14/00 & 06/12/04.
Westbound reassurance shield and companion Interstate 59 trailblazer posted along the freeway beyond U.S. 49. Photo taken 06/12/04.
U.S. 98 westbound at the Elks Lake Road interchange south of Hattiesburg. This interchange is often omitted on maps, but exists midway between Interstate 59 and U.S. 49, accessing a local road that serves rural areas of south Hattiesburg. Elks Lake Road represents an original routing of U.S. 49 before the four-lane highway was built to the east. Photo taken 06/12/04.
4-Lane Ends one mile signs posted along U.S. 98 westbound within the Elks Lake Road diamond interchange. These styles of signs are standard for the state of Mississippi when a four-lane divided highway reduces to two lanes or ends. They are rather unnecessary here as the U.S. 98 freeway ends at the Interstate 59 freeway. Photo taken 06/12/04.
Approaching the end of the U.S. 98 freeway at Interstate 59 on westbound. Note that the south Hattiesburg bypass of U.S. 98 is not up to Interstate standards with a lack of paved shoulders and the substandard guide signs with text in all capital letters. Interstate 59 joins the southeast Mississippi cities of Picayune, Hattiesburg, Laurel, and Meridian. The next interchange on southbound is at Mississippi 589, eight miles away. U.S. 98 tags along with Interstate 59 northward for eight miles. Photos taken 10/14/00 & 06/12/04.
U.S. 98 west joins Interstate 59 north with both highways straddling western reaches of Hattiesburg. The tandem next interchange with U.S. 11 in one mile. This is one of a handful of places that see full blown freeway guide signs supported by span wires. Photo taken 06/12/04.
A trumpet interchange joins U.S. 98 and Interstate 59 southwest of Hattiesburg. The junction includes an abandoned loop ramp grade from Interstate 59 north onto unconstructed U.S. 98 west. A set of signs advise motorists that the U.S. 98 freeway ends; both the southbound on-ramp and Interstate 59 southbound on-ramp share a bridge intended to carry U.S. 98 west toward Lake Serene, had it been constructed. Photo taken 06/12/04.

Continue along U.S. Highway 98 west to McComb.

Page Updated November 24, 2007.

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