Board discusses new bridge replacement projects

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approved proposals for the replacement of three county bridges using excess available funds. County Engineer Les Dungan proposed the Board approve replacement of bridges on Nelly Burkes Road, Homer Ladner Road and Oscar Smith Road.
The bridge on Nelly Burkes was approved for replacement last year, but lacked federal Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program funding, Dungan said. Homer Ladner and Oscar Smith roads qualify for state aid funding, he said. The Board approved replacing the bridges.
In other bridge-related matters, Dungan said 2,600 bridges across Mississippi will be inspected this year by the state. While the county already inspects its 165 bridges on a two or one year basis, Dungan said he’s concerned what the audit will find.
“We work hard in the county to keep these bridges open, but there’s a little bit of an unknown factor happening over the next two years,” Dungan said. “The Federal Highway Administration may say these bridges need to be closed, rather than repaired temporarily to keep them open.”
The county is also continuing current bridge replacement projects on Rock Ranch Road and Springhill Road. Rock Ranch Road is currently open to local traffic while it awaits paving, Dungan said.
Bridges along Otis Jones, Hickory Grove, Harry Sones, Sones Chapel and McNeill Steephollow roads will be replaced in the coming months, Dungan said.
Dungan also said there are extra funds available for road maintenance and intends to repair roads that haven’t been touched since the 2000-2004 Board term.
The Board also approved a quote from Triple L Construction to repair a drainage problem at the county hospital. Dungan said the addition of the new wing, generator, air conditioning and sidewalks has trapped water next to the building. As a result, it’s funneling under the foundation and created a significant erosion problem.
The quote proposed a 15-day fix at a cost of $10,175, far below the other quote from HRL Contracting for $30,000.
Pearl River County Circuit Clerk Nance Stokes spoke to the Board Wednesday to discuss an upcoming special election to fill the Mississippi House District 108 seat vacated by Mark Formby, now a member of the Mississippi Workforce Compensation Committee.
Stokes said the governor’s office indicated the election will be held no later than June, but no official date has been set.
The Board also briefly discussed the chancery court and clerk’s office budget, saying both departments were already over budget.
Stokes said much of the cost overrun stems from adding a third circuit court judge and the high number of cases worked, resulting in a substantial amount of paperwork. She said she hopes to expand the electronic court system from the civil side to include the criminal side.
In other news, District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry said he recently spoke with a local trash hauler who said he’s already received two citations from county Animal and Litter Control Officer Danny Joe Slade.
Perry said the man didn’t seem to be bothered by the citations, even failing to appear in court, until Perry mentioned the new county ordinance that will prohibit haulers with three or more citations from operating in the county. That ordinance will take effect July 1.
District I Supervisor Donald Hart called for “all hands on deck” for this weekend’s Pick Up Pearl River County litter campaign. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are asked to report to one of 12 pickup and drop off locations in the county. The locations will be at J.P. Johnson Park, Leola Jordan Park, Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department, Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department, Carriere Volunteer Fire Department, Northeast Volunteer Fire Department, North Central Volunteer Fire Department, Derby/Whitesand Volunteer Fire Department, Steephollow Volunteer Fire Department and the Poplarville Fire Department.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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