MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Closed bridges like one on Williamsburg Road in Marion County have been a problem for both residents and business owners, but thanks to some allotted money from the state, this problem could soon be over.
More than $250 million is being dispersed across the state of Mississippi for road and bridge repairs.
“We found out yesterday that we have received a little bit better than $3 million for four bridge projects that we have been waiting on funding for a long time on a couple of them” said Marion County Supervisor Terry Broome.
Broome said the state will fund four projects in the county. Two bridges on Williamsburg Road, one on Purvis Road in Columbia near Highway 98 and another on Old River Road.
“We’ve had two bridges in district 2, which is my district, that’s been closed over a year," said Broome. “We’ve been waiting on funding over three years.”
County supervisors were preparing to use other funds to repair the four bridges with their own money because the detours and safety hazards they caused put a strain on county residents. They were glad to learn that lawmakers saw the bridge repairs as a priority.
“Of the four structures that were funded, three of the of the four are closed right now and have been close for over a year," said Jeff Dungan a Marion County Engineer. “The fourth structure is posted only three tons, it’s on a major county collector with over 2,000 cars per day.”
Among all of the criteria for approval, over all the most important factor to the state was public safety.
“Safety was number one," Dungan said. “And other consideration was given to mobility, emergency response, economic impact, detour lanes, traffic cams, those type of things.”
Now that they have a concrete solution just months away, county officials are saying they have a great sense of relief. They are expecting to begin the bidding process within the next few weeks.