Hattiesburg @ SouthEastRoads
The home to the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg is a small sized city in southeastern Mississippi with a population of 39,784. Along with nearby Petal (pop. 7,883) the two cities compose a two county metropolitan area.
Asides the interchange with U.S. 98 at Exit 65, Interstate 59 does not interact with the city of Hattiesburg in a great capacity. The highway retains its rural feel, shrouded by trees along its right-of-way. The highway also retains a 65 mph speed limit and maintains only four lanes of travel. Traffic flows smoothly, as the general bulk of traffic is just passing through. U.S. 98 hops aboard the Interstate between Exits 59 and 65, adding a small amount of additional traffic. Traffic also from the Mississippi Gulf Coast via U.S. 49 tags along Interstate 59 to Exit 67. At that cloverleaf interchange, U.S. 49 intersects Interstate 59 en route to Jackson and Interstate 55.
U.S. 11 may have been the main corridor between New Orleans and Hattiesburg, Laurel, and points north, but the road serves only local interests due to its close proximity to Interstate 59. U.S. 11 enters the city area at Interstate 59 as a sleepy two lane highway. The road has been widened to four lanes between Interstate 59 and U.S. 49 due to increased growth in the southern parts of the city. The highway junctions with U.S. 49 at an old fashioned cloverleaf. Continuing north the highway loses its median but retains four lanes towards downtown. At Hardy Street (the main east-west street into downtown), the highway splits between one-way streets for north and southbound. The downtown area appears to be on bad financial times, with overall light traffic and a minimal amount of activity. North of the downtown area, U.S. 11 essentially gets lost through industrial and residential areas. This stretch is so far out of the loop that original blue U.S. 11 shields can still be found. At Mississippi 42, U.S. 11 sees a drastic increase in roles and widens back to four lanes as it overlaps with the state route into the city of Petal.
Divided highway with service roads throughout the city limits of Hattiesburg, U.S. 49 passes by downtown to the west and south. The highway is also developed heavily from Interstate 59 south to the U.S. 11 cloverleaf interchange. Speaking of that interchange, it is fairly antiquated, with a lack of shoulders on all of the associated ramps. Original concrete is in place, with an arched set of overpasses for U.S. 49 over U.S. 11. A shopping mall adjacent to the junction is named the Cloverleaf Mall.
Originally routed through the city along U.S. 49 and Mississippi 198, U.S. 98 was relocated to bypass the city via Interstate 59. This occurred with the completion of the south Hattiesburg expressway between Interstate 59 Exit 59 and U.S. 49. Hardy Street, old U.S. 98 along Mississippi 198, serves the University of Southern Mississippi campus. Along with U.S. 98 west of Interstate 59 this routing is heavily congested with strip mall and commercial development and the nearby Wesley Medical Center and Forrest General Hospital.
A two lane highway between Interstate 59/U.S. 49 and U.S. 11 north of downtown Hattiesburg. The roadway is an important link between Interstate 59 and the city of Petal in the north Hattiesburg area. Northwest of the metropolitan area the highway overlaps with U.S. 49 (although Interstate 59 omits this overlap). To the northeast, Mississippi 42 overlaps with U.S. 11 across the Leaf River into Petal.
Page Updated July 7, 2002.