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County leaders hope to brief public on bridge closure

NATCHEZ — Adams County Supervisors and other officials will meet with residents and other affected parties to discuss the closure and future of the Sandy Creek bridge.

The bridge, located on Deerfield Road, was closed last week after a state aid road inspector said the steel girders on the bridge were in such condition that it warranted immediate closure.

District 2 Supervisor David Carter said the meeting will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at a location to be determined.

“We want to meet with the residents of that area in person, so that way they will know what exactly is going on and maybe stop some of the rumors that have been going around.”

Deerfield Road serves as one of the main access points in Adams County to the Homochitto National Forest, and Carter said with hunting season beginning not having that access will inconvenience many people who have hunting camps in that area.

Full-time residents who live on the national forest side of the bridge are already having to significantly adjust their daily routines.

“With the bridge out, it makes the trip into town much longer — it adds 20 miles to their daily commute,” Carter said.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said he had submitted a proposal for the bridge for state aid.

“They said we could go ahead and submit an approved (aid) program,” Marlow said. “That doesn’t mean we will get any funding.”

The Sandy Creek bridge is the second Adams County bridge to be closed. Artman Road also has a bridge that has been closed for some time, and residents who live on the side closer to Jefferson County have to make a loop through Church Hill to get to their homes.

Carter said part of the problem was that the Mississippi legislature did not pass a road and bridges bond in 2012, so counties did not have the funding available to them to maintain their bridges.

“It is these rural areas that are impacted by that (lack of funding),” Carter said.

“It is all about funding and right now there is none.”

Carter said the supervisors would work with the state agencies to possibly get the bridge opened to local light traffic.

“If we could do that, it would be a great help,” he said.