County bridge project ongoing; Lower Woodville Road nears halfway point

Published 12:11 am Monday, November 17, 2014

NATCHEZThe work to replace Adams County’s lowest-rated bridge is approaching the halfway mark, at least on its budget sheets.

The Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction gave the Lower Woodville Road bridge over St. Catherine Creek a rating of 17.8 percent earlier this year, and work to replace the bridge began in June.

Dozer Inc. was awarded the $2,292,602 contract to build a new bridge adjacent to the existing structure.

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“The contractors have completed most of the substructure and are working on the deck portion of the bridge now,” County Engineer Jim Marlow said. “They have poured two of the nine deck sections, and are also doing dirt work for the approaches at both sides of it.”

The work will continue until the end of summer 2015, Marlow said, but dollar-wise the project is approaching the 50-percent mark.

Work should be slowing down soon because of environmental concerns such as wetter weather and cold, which limits how and when concrete can be poured, Marlow said.

A 100 percent rating would have meant the bridge structure — which was built in 1945 and has approximately 6,200 motorists cross it every day— was considered entirely sufficient. The rating is based on a judge of the bridge’s structural integrity, safety and how essential it is to public use.

Traffic is being allowed in the area during the construction, though the project will require some re-routing throughout.

“It will be a slow go on the old road after the first of the year,” Marlow said.

The project’s funding comes though the State Aid Road Program, which helps counties build and maintain secondary roads.

Excluding highways and the Mississippi River bridge, the Lower Woodville Road bridge is the county’s second-most traveled after the Canal Street bridge in downtown Natchez.