Roadways of Jackson, MS

Jackson, Mississippi is the capital and most populous city of the state of Mississippi. The city has a network of highways, arterial roads, collector roads, and local streets that facilitate transportation throughout the metro area.

This guide will provide an overview of the major roadways in Jackson, along with some history and interesting facts.

Interstate Highways

Jackson is served by two major interstate highways:

Interstate 55

  • Runs north-south through the western side of Jackson, connecting to Memphis, TN in the north and Brookhaven, MS in the south.
  • Part of the national north-south corridor that connects Chicago to New Orleans.
  • Main exit into downtown Jackson is Exit 100A (Amite Street).
  • Heavily used for commuting and shipping to/from Jackson.
  • Nearby landmarks include Mississippi Braves Baseball Stadium and Jackson-Evers International Airport.

Interstate 20

  • Runs east-west through the southern side of Jackson, connecting to Vicksburg, MS in the west and Meridian, MS in the east.
  • Part of the interstate connection between Dallas, TX and Florence, SC.
  • Main exits into downtown Jackson are Exits 44A-C (Gallatin Street, State Street).
  • Used to bypass downtown when traveling east-west through central MS.
  • Nearby landmarks include the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.

U.S. Highways

In addition to interstates, several US highways pass through Jackson:

U.S. Route 49

  • Runs north-south from Gulfport, MS to Arkansas.
  • Divided highway with frontage roads through Jackson.
  • Connects Jackson to Yazoo City and the Mississippi Delta region.
  • Merges with I-20 through downtown.
  • Part of “Cotton Highway” that brought cotton from the Delta to market.

U.S. Route 51

  • Historic north-south route connecting New Orleans to Wisconsin.
  • Merges with I-55 north of downtown Jackson.
  • Connects Jackson to Yazoo City, Winona, Grenada, and points north.
  • Nicknamed “Airline Highway” when it was a major north-south auto route.

U.S. Route 80

  • Runs east-west between Tybee Island, GA and San Diego, CA.
  • Enters Jackson on Pearl Street, merging with I-20.
  • Connects Jackson to Vicksburg, Natchez, and Louisiana.
  • Part of “Bankhead Highway” early national auto trail.

State Highways

Several MS state highways help connect Jackson locally:

Mississippi Highway 25

  • Runs north from Jackson through rural central Mississippi.
  • Route from Jackson to Kosciusko, Starkville, and Mathiston.

Mississippi Highway 475

  • Bypass route east of Jackson connecting MS 468 to I-55.
  • Relieves traffic on I-55 by giving east option to reach Pearl, Brandon, etc.

Mississippi Highway 18

  • Connects Jackson to Raymond, Edwards, and Vicksburg.
  • Merges with US 80 and later with I-20.
  • Historic route parallels Natchez Trace Parkway.

Major Arterial Streets

Key arteries allow traffic flow within metro Jackson:

State Street

  • North-south artery into downtown Jackson.
  • Runs from I-55 south past government buildings and museums.
  • Home to annual Mississippi State Fair parade.

Amite Street

  • Downtown gateway street from I-55.
  • Home to hotels, convention centers, restaurants.
  • Main route to Coliseum and fairgrounds.

North/South State Street

  • Paired one-way streets through downtown.
  • Flanked by government office buildings.
  • Access points to I-55/I-20 via Pearl Street.

County Line Road

  • Major east-west route on west side of Jackson.
  • Connects I-220 ring road to shopping/restaurants.
  • Bridge over Pearl River into Rankin County.

Robinson Road

  • Commercial strip dotted with car dealerships and big box stores.
  • Links I-55 and County Line Road on west side.
  • Notorious for congestion during rush hour.

Collector Roads

Collector roads gather traffic from neighborhoods:

  • Prentiss Street – Historic neighborhood connector in Belhaven.
  • Peachtree Street – Residential collector in northeast Jackson.
  • Beasley Road – Gathers traffic around Jackson State U.
  • Woodrow Wilson Avenue – Key east-west route in midtown.
  • Fortification Street – Downtown neighborhood route to I-55.

Scenic Drives

Some roads in Jackson offer beautiful scenery:

  • Natchez Trace Parkway – Historic 444-mile route from Natchez to Nashville that passes through northeast Jackson.
  • Pearl Street – Tree-lined downtown street with historic homes and buildings.
  • River Road – Winds along the Pearl River past parks and nature areas.
  • Lakeland Drive – Loop road around Resevoir No. 1 with golf courses and scenery.

Interesting Facts About Jackson Roads

Here are some fascinating tidbits about Jackson’s transportation history:

  • The first paved streets in Jackson were installed in 1915 on Capitol, State, and Pearl Streets downtown.
  • The original bridges over the Pearl River date back to 1838 and 1858. They were later replaced by the I-55 and US 49 bridges.
  • Amite Street was the first “superhighway” built in Jackson in the 1920s, allowing cars to bypass downtown.
  • Before interstates, Highway 80 carried coast-to-coast traffic straight through downtown Jackson.
  • The first modern cloverleaf interchange in Jackson was built at State Street and Highway 80 in 1953.
  • I-55 through Jackson was completed in stages from the 1950s through the 1970s.
  • The final segment of I-20 bypassing downtown opened in 1981 after years of construction.
  • Traffic lights in Jackson were computerized and coordinated by a central system starting in 1976.

So in summary, Jackson has an extensive network of roads and highways that keep the city connected and allow the flow of traffic and commerce throughout central Mississippi.

From early local streets to modern interstate highways, the roadways trace the history and growth of Mississippi’s capital city.

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  • Start out heading southeast on I-55 S toward Jackson. Take exit 98B toward MS-18/Adams St/US-51. Keep left to stay on Exit 98B and merge onto US-51 S/Adams St. Turn right onto Northview Dr. The destination will be on your right. Your route is 6.6 miles total.
  • Begin on East County Line Road heading south. Turn right to merge onto I-20 West toward Jackson. Take exit 50A towards I-55 South/Brookhaven. Merge onto I-55 South and travel for around 4 miles. Take exit 98B for US-51 S/Adams St and keep left to continue on exit 98B. Merge onto US-51 S/Adams St and go for 1.5 miles. Make a right onto Northview Dr and your destination will be on the right just past Kilburn Ave. You will travel 11 miles total.
  • Start out on State St in downtown Jackson heading north. Turn right onto Pearl St and continue for half a mile. Take the ramp onto I-55 North. Drive for around 2 miles then take exit 100 for Briarwood Dr toward US 51/Northside Dr. Turn left onto Briarwood Dr then quickly turn right onto Northside Dr. After a third of a mile, turn left onto Northview Dr. 3829 Northview Dr will be on your right after passing Kilburn Ave. Your total travel distance is approximately 5 miles.