Bridges in PRC call for attention

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2017

This year approximately 500 bridges across the state have been closed to traffic due to the increasing threat they pose to public safety.

Pearl River County Engineer Les Dungan said the order to close the bridges comes due to scrutiny placed on county bridges supported by timber pilings.

Dungan said the Board is working hard to make both temporary and permanent improvements to bridges supported by timber.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In 2017 seven bridges in Pearl River County were replaced, which include four on Spring Hill Road, two on Hickory Grove Road and one on McNeil Street.

Three other bridges, including one on Otis Jones Road and two on Progress Road, are currently being repaired.

Dungan said out of the 165 bridges across the county, temporary shoring is underway on 10 other bridges.

Fifteen other bridges still supported by timber pilings are still a cause for concern, and cannot be fixed due to inadequate funding.

“Our concern is that the state will order closure and not provide any assistance in repair of the bridges,” Dungan said.

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors is currently looking for a way to repair bridges at risk of being closed.

Dungan said the use of timber in the construction of bridges was discontinued three decades ago, so the fact there are still bridges in the county supported by the material is concerning.

The average cost to replace one bridge is estimated to be $250,000.