Bridge collapses during demolition
Published 12:07 am Thursday, October 8, 2015
NATCHEZ — What was once Adams County’s lowest rated bridge did Wednesday what engineers feared it would — it failed.
Crews with Dozer Inc were in the process of demolishing the old bridge on Lower Woodville Road — which has since been replaced by an adjacent structure — when the old bridge apparently could not handle the weight of the track hoe on top of it.
Instead of a violent collapse, however, the fall was less dramatic.“It eased over, just like a see-saw,” Dozer Inc. Owner Bill Jones said.
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No one was injured in the incident, which left the span sticking up in the air.
“It doesn’t look too pleasing, and we’ve got a lot of bridge down, but that is one of the reasons they wanted it replaced,” Jones said. “It had a lot of bad rivets.”
A second trackhoe has since been taken down into the site of the collapse to help dig things out, Jones said.
The Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction rated the old Lower Woodville Road bridge at 17.8 percent in a report published in 2014. The report said the 1945-constructed bridge’s deck was in poor condition and its substructure was in serious condition.
A 100-percent rating for the bridge would have meant it was deemed entirely sufficient.
The formula used to determine its rating looks at the bridge’s structural accuracy, safety and how essential it is to public use.
An estimated 6,200 motorists cross the bridge daily, making it the county’s second most-traveled bridge excluding highway bridges and the Mississippi River bridge.
The $2,292,602 replacement bridge was already open and traffic was already been rerouted to it.