On The Morning Of July 22, 2021, New Shire State's Highway Authority, started construction and repairs on its J 1.9 Million Highway Revitalization and Construction . The Construction, which is being done on Highway 79, the Highway that parallels Rufus County International Airport.
During Construction, crews will be tearing down several sections of the existing Highway, which is considered a "Skyway" essentially, a Highway that is on a raised platform. According to County Officials, Highway 79 needed to be repaved, and many structural concerns had been found and reported during a 2020, Safety Inspection. Due to the State's Minimum Safety Requirements, the Structure was deemed safe enough for continued use. As the COVID-19 pandemic surged, the use of Highway 79 spiked and caused several cracks to become large enough for concern. On April 21, 2021, Rufus County Shutdown the Highway, in order for crews to perform monthly maintenance. Crews then reported a real concern and told Rufus County Executive Larry Pearson, that if any further use of the highway was allowed, disaster was very very imminent. Executive Larry Pearson announced on June 1, 2021, that no further use of Highway 79 was allowed, and that the Highway would be shutdown until further notice. On July 1, 2021, County Executive Pearson, announced that revitalization of Highway would be conducted between July 20 and July 30, 2021. Work commenced on July 22, 2021, and work is still ongoing.
According to the New Shire State DOT, work won't be done until about late July of 2022. According to the state, the Highway will be extended by 5,000 miles of roadway by the end of 2022.