Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Cars, trucks and 18-wheelers wait to cross the westbound side of the Mississippi River bridge Tuesday night to clear one lane of the bridge to allow traffic to pass. Rain started to freeze causing icy driving conditions and an accident to occur on the bridge.
Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Cars, trucks and 18-wheelers wait to cross the westbound side of the Mississippi River bridge Tuesday night to clear one lane of the bridge to allow traffic to pass. Rain started to freeze causing icy driving conditions and an accident to occur on the bridge.

Icy conditions cause some problems on bridges

Published 12:02am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NATCHEZ — Natchez and Vidalia police officers worked to alleviate traffic congestion Tuesday evening on the westbound Mississippi River Bridge from a wreck caused by heavy rain.

Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis said a minor vehicle collision on the westbound bridge caused traffic to back up on the bridge reaching as far as the intersection of Canal Street and John R. Junkin Drive.

Officers were working to clear the debris at approximately 7:30 p.m. as traffic was slowly moving in one lane across the westbound bridge.

Traffic began moving freely again on the bridge at approximately 8 p.m. as officers were able to clear the debris.

The National Weather Service in Jackson issued a winter-storm warning for freezing rain Tuesday evening, which is in effect until noon today.

The rain is expected to cause ice to accumulate on bridges and overpasses and could make travel hazardous, NWS meteorologist Joanne Culin said.

“What you’ll see is all of that precipitation that’s been falling start to freeze,” Culin said. “There will also be a mixture of rain and sleet falling for quite some time.”

Culin said temperatures are expected to rise to 36 today, but will drop again tonight down to the mid 20s.

“Anything that’s left over or has fallen again (today) will refreeze,” Culin said.