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Bridge maintenance ongoing in Pearl River County

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors has recently accepted a bid to replace the Barth Road Bridge as part of their ongoing bridge replacement program.
“We’ve been replacing bridges systematically over the last 18 years,” said County Engineer Les Dungan.
The accepted bid of more than $574,000 dollars came from Jet Construction Incorporated, a Pascagoula company who recently completed a similar project in Pearl River County.
“The county is responsible for 165 bridges that are in a variety of conditions,” said Dungan, “Some have been recently replaced and some are 40 or 50-years-old and need improvement.”
Every bridge is inspected using a semi-annual schedule, while the bridges in worse condition are checked more consistently. To determine which location is the highest priority for replacement, Dungan says the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors generally considers four things.
Funding is the primary concern. The county has access to federal funds through the Bridge Replacement Program, in addition to the money they receive from the state-funded Local Off-System Bridge Program. Dungan says they will try to complete a project every year with the funding these programs provide.
The board also considers the use and condition of the bridge. A bridge with a high volume of daily traffic in poor condition will receive priority over a bridge with less use in the same condition. The board also takes into consideration any environmental concerns that might conflict with a bridge replacement project, such as endangered species, wetlands or right of way acquisition issues.
The Barth Road Bridge will be replaced using federal funding, and Dungan said construction could begin as early as Jan. 2015. The next bridge the county plans to replace is located on E.T. Poole Rd. in Poplarville. There are also multiple sites on Spring Hill Road in Poplarville that the county is considering.
In addition to the replacement projects, the county has also been repairing guardrails on multiple bridges throughout the area.
“The old support posts are made of timber that have deteriorated over time,” Dungan said, “We are replacing the wooden posts with metal posts.”