Unexpected road closure due to bridge replacement

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Motorists traveling on West Union Road towards Gibson’s crossroads Tuesday, or away from the crossroads, found they had to take an unexpected detour due to bridge work.

The bridge replacement is taking place on West Union Road between the intersections of West Union and Caesar Road and West Union and F.Z. Goss Road and is slated to take two months to complete.

Joe Pettway, co-owner of Buford Construction Company out of Vicksburg, said the job is to build a new bridge that will be wider, longer and which will have concrete pilings and railings. All of the work will bring the bridge to state aid standards.

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The new bridge will be widened from the current bridge’s 22 feet to 30 feet and lengthened from 80 feet to 120 feet, Pettway said.

“It’s just not to the width it needs to be right now,” Pettway said.

The approach rails will be extended to 110 feet and new barrier rails, similar to those used on the interstate, will be installed on the bridge, Pettway said.

Not only will the pilings be concrete instead of timber, there will be more of them to form a stronger bridge, Pettway said. Motorists were traveling over a concrete bridge sitting on timber pilings prior to this work.

Work on the bridge was slated to begin in August, but a delay in the construction of the bridge’s spans held it back, Pettway said. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the construction of the bridge’s spans have been completed and the work on the bridge can continue.

For two months motorists will need to take detours to get to their destinations so the bridge can be removed in pieces, Pettway said. He said a local contractor may reuse parts of the old bridge in other construction projects.

“The deck is fine, it’s just got a width problem and a substructure problem,” Pettway said.

Lumpkin said currently there are no more bridges out for bid for reconstruction, but there are some small bridges the county is considering repairing with local funds.

The bridge work on West Union is being funded with federal funds handed down to the state for its distribution, Lumpkin said.