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Artman Road bridge work set to finish

Work is underway to replace several of the wood pylons on this bridge on Artman Road in northern Adams County, in hopes of reopening the bridge, which has been closed for four years. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Work is underway to replace several of the wood pylons on this bridge on Artman Road in northern Adams County, in hopes of reopening the bridge, which has been closed for four years. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — If all goes well, residents on the far end of Artman Road will get to do something this week they haven’t been able to do in four years — go home without going miles out of their way through Jefferson County.

Adams County Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the bridge was closed four years ago because of a combination of erosion problems and timber deterioration causing it to be unsafe.

That meant residents who lived on the side of the creek, the road closest to Jefferson County, would have to drive an additional 10 to 15 miles through the Church Hill area to get to their homes.

One long-time resident of the area said having to live without the bridge access has been “a mess.”

District 5 Supervisor Calvin Butler said getting the bridge fixed has been a priority since even before he became a supervisor.

“The residents out there have been calling me since I have been in office asking when we were going to get something going,” Butler said. “When I was campaigning, a lot of people were going out of their way 10 to 15 miles to get where they are going, and that was something they told me they wanted fixed.”

Last week, the long-awaited repair on the bridge began as S&S Dragline began driving the pilings to repair the bridge.

Grennell said the repairs have had to wait four years because the county either didn’t have the money — the repairs cost approximately $24,000 — or the contractor didn’t have the time.

“During the last supervisors’ term, we actually tried to get the contractor to come in, but he had a waiting list that was going to put us off for a while,” Grennell said.

“Supervisor Butler, along with myself and the county road manger, met with that contractor and he agreed to help us move as expeditiously as possible, and fortunately we have found a way now.”

Butler said the county is doing its part to save money on the bridge.

“We already bought some of the materials, and the county is helping do some of the work as well,” he said. “S&S is driving pilings and the county is working on the decking — we are doing as much as we can on our end to save that cost.”

Butler said the bridge will have to pass inspection first, but he hopes to see it open by Wednesday or Thursday.