Three county bridges closed after they fail inspections

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

NATCHEZ — Three county bridges failed inspection and were closed Tuesday.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said bridges on Deerfield, Hutchins Landing and Quitman roads have been closed due to safety concerns.

“They are not safe to travel over,” Marlow said.

Marlow said Mississippi Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration officials were among the agencies that inspected the bridges and due to substructure issues, the bridges were closed.

On Deerfield Road, crews are currently constructing a $1.6 million bridge, which would be completed in a few months, Marlow said.

Hutchins Landing Road is next to receive a bridge, though Marlow said he did not have estimates for when or how much it would cost.

The funding for these two bridges are programmed through state aid and supervisors do not have to pay a match.

Marlow said the county could hold out on Deerfield and Hutchins Landing, as the alternative is to sink money into something that would be torn down eventually. He said supervisors might have to spend more money in repairing the Quitman Road bridge, where parts of the substructure have rotted.

Marlow said people are already farming in the Anna’s Bottom area of north Adams County. He said the detour due to the Quitman Road bridge would require residents to circle into Anna’s Bottom to access Martin Luther King Jr. Road.

Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said the county would have to bite the bullet and repair the Quitman Road bridge.

“When you are replacing these bridges, and you have three of them, it can run up to $2 million before you know it,” Lazarus said. “The state every year talks about doing bond bills for roads and bridges, but I don’t know what happens in Jackson. It does not seem to trickle down here fast enough.”

Lazarus said Adams County is not the only county in the state facing the issue of bridges being closed due to age.

“Even though we put weight limits on these bridges, it does not stop people from driving log trucks over them,” Lazarus said. “They break them, and we have to fix them.”

Lazarus said he would ask road manager Robbie Dollar to determine how much the cost is to repair the bridge on Quitman Road.

“We always put money in our budget for repairing bridges, and we are constantly repairing them,” Lazarus said.

Hunters looking to access camps would be the most inconvenienced by the Deerfield Bridge closure, and Lazarus said the new bridge should be open before hunting season.

Lazarus said some residents would be inconvenienced by the Hutchins Landing bridge closure, but he said it is mainly used to access the St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge and residents could also get in from York Road.