Supervisors to approve work on trestle bridge at port

Published 12:11am Saturday, March 30, 2013

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors should approve long-needed work on a trestle bridge essential to railroad operations in the Natchez-Adams County Port.

Bids submitted for the project range from just over a half million dollars to 1 million dollars.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said he will present a bid recommendation for the rehabilitation of the existing railroad trestle that serves as the entrance to the Rentech property, which was for years the main rail entrance for International Paper.

“This is work that needs to happen,” Marlow said. “That trestle has had repair work done on it in the past when IP had it and other work has been done on it since then, but it has needed some major rehabilitation for some time.”

Part of the trestle was built in the 1950s, and the rehabilitation project will replace the existing 140-foot timber spans with a steel span. All of the rails will be replaced as well.

“The trestle has taken a lot of handling over the years because it was the main entrance into IP, and the port has used it extensively (recently) in order to switch cars onto the port rail.”

The engineer said the rail trestle is vital for coming industrial commitments, especially from KiOR and Elevance.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the board has known for some time that the trestle needed repairs, and in the past even went to Jackson to testify before a legislative committee for an appropriation for the project.

That appropriation was earmarked especially for the Rentech project, and after the company shelved its plans to develop the property as an alternative fuel production site, Grennell said the county was not able to use the appropriation.

The current work will be underwritten by a grant from the Mississippi Development Authority, he said.

Eight bids were submitted for the work, with the low bid from Joe McGee Construction coming in at $513,634. The high bid was CW&W Contractors at $1,057,351.50.