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.

Mississippi @ SouthEastRoads - Interstate 59

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.

Northbound on U.S. 11 as it enters the city limits of Hattiesburg near the Interstate 59/U.S. 98 freeway overlap. The roadway quickly widens from two to four lanes, and divides at this interchange. The speed limit slowly decreases as the U.S. route nears U.S. 49 in central Hattiesburg. Photo taken 10/14/00.
The U.S. 11/49 antiquated cloverleaf as seen from northbound. This older style guide sign shows Gulfport in all capital letters for the southbound control city of U.S. 49. This interchange has no shoulders on the main roadway or on the connecting ramps. Photo taken 10/14/00.
Downtown Hattiesburg as seen from U.S. 11 where it splits at Pine and Hardy Streets. Traffic turning to the left heads towards the University of Southern Mississippi campus and Mississippi 198. The area in and around downtown is loaded with older architecture and declining businesses. U.S. 11 north turns to the right at this intersection as southbound enters from the left. Photo taken 10/14/00.
In a quiet industrial area north of downtown is this blue U.S. 11 northbound reassurance shield. The route is only two lanes and follows a series of turns along essentially local streets. The speed limit within this vicinity varies from only 20 to 25 MPH. Photo taken 10/14/00.
A second northbound U.S. 11 blue shield, only a couple of blocks from the one in the above photograph. U.S. 11 enters a residential neighborhood at this point. The color scheme was used on all U.S. highways in the state of Mississippi for a short period. This probably was in effect during the 1950s. Photo taken 10/14/00.
As U.S. 11 leaves the Hattiesburg city limits, it overlaps with Mississippi 42 for a short stretch. The two highways share pavement to cross the Leaf River between Hattiesburg and Petal. The highway picks up a bit more traffic with Mississippi 42 and its connection to Interstate 59 and U.S. 49 to the west. Photo taken 10/14/00.

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.

The area of the U.S. 98 expressway south of Hattiesburg is very rural in nature. This scene looks northbound on U.S. 49 with advance guide signage for the westbound U.S. 98 cloverleaf. The control cities include Laurel for Interstate 59 north. The roadway to the right is the original two lane version of U.S. 49 that now acts as a service road. Photo taken 10/14/00.
Northbound U.S. 49 at the congested intersection with Hardy Street, the eastern terminus of Mississippi 198. This location originally was the northern split of the U.S. 49/98 overlap. To the right is downtown with the University of Southern Mississippi campus situated to the left. The Hardy Street and U.S. 49 corridors throughout this vicinity are heavily commercialized. The roadway on the right is one of several frontage roads in use along U.S. 49. Photo taken 10/14/00.
The junction with Interstate 59 is another cloverleaf interchange. This sign bridge shows northbound at the Interstate 59 northbound ramp. U.S. 49 continues the expansion of Hattiesburg metropolitan area northwestward a short distance. Quickly thereafter the highway becomes more rural in nature, with a hodgepodge of towns and farmland between Hattiesburg and Jackson. The corridor is traveled moderately by long-distance drivers. Photo taken 10/14/00.

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.

Mississippi @ SouthEastRoads - U.S. Highway 98

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.

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