County leaders working hard to make bridges safe

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 4, 2018

During the first Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting of the year, County Engineer Les Dungan said his primary goal would be to address ongoing issues with county bridges.

Last year alone approximately 500 bridges across the state were closed to traffic due to the increasing threat they pose to public safety.

That threat is due to the deteriorating state of the pilings that hold those bridges up.

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In Pearl River County, seven such bridges had to be replaced in 2017, including four on Spring Hill Road, two on Hickory Grove Road and one on Henleyfield McNeill Road.

Most of the bridges were considered unsafe due to the aging timber pilings.

Bridges on Otis Jones Road and Progress Road that handle heavy traffic are currently under repair and fifteen other bridges supported by timber pilings are still a cause for concern until they are fixed.

I’m glad to see that everyone responsible for the upkeep of our local infrastructure is also concerned about our safety.

Being fairly new to the area, I’ve noticed how often I cross a bridge in this county, and it’s quite often. I’ve also noticed a lot of potholes that cause havoc on my vehicle’s suspension.

Just the other day while on my way to cover a story on Reed Road, I almost drove my vehicle into a hole that could have potentially caused major damage to a tire or some other part of my car. Being a relatively new driver, I have to be constantly aware of the road conditions to avoid a potential hazard.

It is commendable to see our local leaders working to improve the current state of our roads. At the same time, they should also focus on repairing the large potholes.