Mississippi Highway 24
Mississippi Highway 24 (MS 24) was a major east-west state highway in Mississippi that once ran through Hattiesburg. Parts of this highway later became part of present-day US 98. For a brief period in the mid-1950's, MS 24 ran for over 200 miles across South Mississippi, from near the Mississippi River to the Alabama State Line.
First designated in 1932, MS 24 began as a series of connected unpaved roads, running from Fort Adams, MS, east to Leakesville, MS, across the southern part of the state. Soon after, the highway was paved and improved in many parts.
Eventually, a 1953 extension (later to become MS 594) from Leakesville to the AL/MS border made MS 24 one of the longest east-west roads in the state. However, in 1955, US 98 was extended into MS, superseding the MS 24 designation from McLain, Mississippi west to McComb, MS, including through Hattiesburg.
The original routing of MS 24 in Hattiesburg began as part of James St./Old US 49E, leading north out of the McCallum community. MS 24 then ran concurrently with Main St. and US 49 through town, very briefly running with US 11 via Front and Pine streets, then onto Hardy St, where MS 24 ran west to Columbia. In 1945, MS 24 was realigned to a new intersection at US 49, south of town but north of Camp Shelby. For a brief time, Edwards St. carried both US 49 and MS 24 traffic,
When US 49 was realigned to the then-western edges of town in 1948, the concurrent alignment of MS 24 was moved as well. The US 49/MS 24 concurency ended at the intersection with Hardy St., MS 24 continued west on Hardy St. while US 49 continued north.
In 1955, much of MS 24, including the Hattiesburg portion, became part of US 98, connecting with the longer US 98 route in Alabama and Florida.
Today, only a third of the original MS 24 still exists in southwest MS; a 76 mile segment from Fort Adams, Mississippi east to the intersection of I-55 and US 98 in McComb, Mississippi.