Bridge of Sighs nearly complete

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NATCHEZ — Both current and former Natchez Waterworks superintendents can breath a sigh of relief — The Bridge of Sighs is nearly complete.

Since July 16, residents have used the bridge — which connects two sides of the bluff separated by Roth Hill Road — for walking, jogging or simply gazing at the mighty Mississippi River.

Former Natchez Waterworks Superintendent David Gardner, who spearheaded the project in conjunction with the Natchez Trails Project, said he’s pleased with how the bridge turned out.

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“It just gives people another reason to visit the bluff and experience the beauty of the Mississippi River,” Gardner said.

To date, current Natchez Waterworks Superintendent Tony Moon said approximately $670,000 has been spent on the bridge’s construction, with the majority of funds coming from grants and lease payments from the Magnolia Bluffs Casino.

The city has spent approximately $100,000 on the bridge, Moon said.

“We haven’t processed the final payment yet, but mostly all that’s left is paperwork. We’re just wrapping this up,” said Moon, adding that a final inspection by engineering firm Volkert Inc. is also on the bridge’s checklist.

And while the bridge boasts a scenic view of the river, Gardner said a few final, beautifying touches remain.

Once the weather cools, Gardner said the Natchez-Adams County Community Alliance would plant flowers and shrubbery around the bridge.

“When it’s 100 degrees out, it’s difficult to make things grow,” Gardner said.

With the Community Alliance and the city working together, Gardner guessed that the bridge would be blooming with beauty by Spring 2016 — just in time for the city’s tricentennial celebration.

“The bridge, it kind of completed a part of Natchez’s ‘history puzzle,’” Gardner said, referring to the original Bridge of Sighs that used to stand in the same location. “Eventually, I would like to get some kind of marker out there explaining the history of the bridge, so people can appreciate that, too.”