By Alexandra Hedrick, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Pearl River County is currently working on the Savannah-Millard Road bridge just east of exit 19 to replace the aging timber pilings with all concrete components.
The funding for the construction is being provided by a federal bridge replacement program and construction is expected to be finished by the end of the month, said Les Dungan, the county engineer.
The county also recently completed replacing the McCarty Island Road. The McCarty Island project, which cost $125,000, was funded by the state through the Local System Bridge Program, which also helps fund some of the other bridge replacement projects in the county, Dungan said.
He said the county always utilizes he funds that are made available to them as quickly as possible so that the funds don’t accumulate.
According to the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction, the McCarty Island Road bridge was built in 1996.
“The Local System Bridge Program, (LSBP) has been a great asset to Pearl River County in the past, by way of providing funds for the replacement of bridges on some of the county’s most rural routes. These existing bridges are often supported by aging timber piling and consequently posted for low weight only. In time, if these bridges are not repaired or replaced, they will need to be physically closed,” he said.
Currently, there are no bridges in the county that need to be physically closed, Dungan said.
“A nearby county recently closed a bridge due to failure of its aging timber piling. The bridge was posted at a load limit of 10,000 pounds and was damaged by a loaded 18 wheeler, according to witnesses. Therefore it is critically important that the Local System Bridge Program continue to be funded by the state,” Dungan said.
The county plans to start replacing the J.J. Holcomb Road bridge, E.T. Poole Road bridge and J.M. Tynes Road bridge in the near future, Dungan said. Bids for the J.J. Holcomb Road project will be opened at the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday at 10 a.m.