Louisiana residents who are headed to the Mississippi Gulf Coast or the beaches of Alabama and Florida should know that before you see the blue of the Gulf of Mexico, you're more than likely going to be seeing the orange of hundreds of traffic cones. The reason for the orange cones is a massive road construction project that is taking place right at the Mississippi and Louisiana state line.

KATC Via YouTube
KATC Via YouTube
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A lot of the actual work is being performed on the Mississippi side of the line but if you've driven through that part of the country you know there are a lot of bridges and swamps and to be quite honest sometimes you can't be sure which state you're in, if you know what I mean.

As of now MDOT, the Mississippi Department of Transportation has the eastbound lanes of I-10 gummed up pretty badly. They're expected to stay that way through August. So, in other words, to get through the beach you're going to have to sit in traffic for a few hours or perhaps you'd be interested in a "workaround". 

Road construction sign.
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I won't call it a shortcut because it's actually longer in mileage but it could save you hours in time. It's like our "avoid the tunnel in Mobile, Alabama hack". It's a longer way but with less traffic you get where you want to go faster.

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Instagram @darlasteinborn
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Now, if you're a dang overachiever and you're reading ahead of the class you need to know that the Highway 90 alternate route is not a good option. That route that would take you through Pearlington is closed indefinitely. But there is another way to avoid the congestion but you're going to have to drive like a local.

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If you're in Louisiana and heading to the beaches or the Mississippi Gulf Coast you might not notice hardly any congestion. But if you do encounter more than a mild backup, you'll want to exit I-10/1-12 and take I-59 North. You'll proceed a very short distance to Exit 1, the Nicholson Exit. That is also the exit that will have you intersect with Mississippi State Highway 607.

You'll then take MS 607 South. We should note that you will be passing very close to the John C. Stennis Space Center facility. You might lose cell service in that area because it is a buffer zone for rocket tests, but just know you're going to eventually connect with I-10 very close to the Mississippi Welcome Center.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Just for clarity's sake, the bulk of the congestion does not appear to be in the lanes going from Louisiana to Mississippi. In fact, we received this comment from someone with firsthand knowledge of the situation.

The construction is westbound on i10. Eastbound going toward Florida is fine. The construction is repairing the guardrail and a portion of the interstate after a major crash last year. The part about 90 being closed indefinitely is correct. Multiple bridges are closed bc of severe deterioration and LA DOTD is trying to find the money to replace them.

So, what will you need to do to avoid the congestion as you plan your return trip from the beach?  The simple thing to do is basically reverse the instructions we mentioned earlier in this article.

MAGNETIC PHONE HOLDER
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You'll exit I-10 westbound at the Mississippi Welcome Center/Stennis Space Center. You'll take MS Highway 607 North to I-59. Then take I-59 South toward New Orleans. You'll pick up I10 and I12 in about a mile.

The Biloxi-Sun Herald Newspaper offered this other "scenic detour" that might save you even more time. This is from Hancock County Mississippi:

* Take Highway 603 to Texas Flat Road in Kiln. Then Head west.

*Once you get to Mississippi 607, go north and get on I-59 toward New Orleans at the Nicholson exit (1).

Bad Driving Behavior: Cities with the Rudest Drivers
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The newspaper also reported on another return route for those who will be traveling from the Biloxi area or from points further east, aka the beaches of Alabama and Florida.

Again, from the Sun Herald Newspaper in Biloxi:

Take I-10 west to the Bay St. Louis-Kiln exit (13). Go north on Highway 603 until you reach Texas Flat Road, then follow it west to Mississippi 607. Head north and merge onto I-59 to New Orleans at Nicholson (Exit 1).

Unfortunately, the traffic slowdowns will most likely happen as you are attempting to return from your relaxing vacation. Hopefully, these work arounds make your journey a little smoother and a lot less time-consuming.

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