Public, politicians attend bridge opening ceremony

Published 12:27 am Friday, October 26, 2007

NATCHEZ — Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown called the newly opened Liberty Road bridge a beautiful bridge for a beautiful city.

Brown addressed a well-chilled crowd of about 100 at a ribbon cutting ceremony to honor the Liberty Road bridge.

More importantly than its good looks though, the bridge can offer safe and efficient transportation to the citizens of Natchez, Brown said.

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Local dignitaries and politicians also spoke at Thursday’s event.

Rep. Sam Mims told the audience that the new bridge is strong symbol of the city’s progress.

“Natchez is moving forward,” he said.

Former mayor and current Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation Larry L. “Butch” Brown spoke quite fondly of the bridge and what it means to Natchez.

Several speakers gave Brown credit for developing the bridge and sketching its first unofficial draft on a sheet of white paper several years ago.

Brown said the dedication of the bridge was proud moment for all Natchez residents.

And hinting at future projects, Brown said locals should ready themselves for more orange traffic barrels in the near future.

Inspired by a fast moving traffic circle he visited while in Mexico City, Brown got his next idea for the city’s newest road improvement project.

A design has already been made for what Brown called a continuous flow intersection.

The City of Natchez has already acquired the necessary property, near Natchez Regional Hospital, and plans to start work very soon.

The continuous flow intersection would allow cars to pass though unhindered by traffic lights.

Brown said when he stood in the middle of the intersection in Mexico it was like standing in a beehive. Brown said the project could be completed in 18 months.

Steve Boudreaux, a managing principal from the design company ABMB Engineers, was also at the dedication.

Boudreaux said the bridge was designed with the Natchez’s unique architecture in mind.

“We wanted to capture Natchez with the bridge,” he said.

Boudreaux and his team used high arches and iron rail accents to capture the feeling of Natchez in the bridge.