Bridge panel OKs spending to realign span’s shifting pier

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2002

[01/10/02]Under a contract OK’d Wednesday, $482,908 will be spent to realign a pier that has shifted nearly 5 inches to the west and put stress on the structure of the U.S. 80 bridge over the Mississippi River.

Members of the Vicksburg Bridge Commission approved the deal with Shiloh Contractors Inc., of Clinton last month. The project is expected to take 75 working days after the contractor mobilizes for the job.

Shiloh performed a similar adjustment to Pier 2 in 1997.

In October, the commission that maintains the county-owned bridge ordered the immediate repairs after engineers said the bridge and railroad tracks might have to be closed if the work on the bridge, opened in 1930, was not done soon.

The bridge will be jacked up on the Mississippi side and the rocker that sits on top of the support will be moved and adjusted to compensate for the shifting.

The bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1998 because of deterioration of the roadbed. That and other work would still be needed before the bridge could be reopened for traffic and the cost is estimated at $2.8 million.

Rail traffic continues to cross the river on the bridge at a rate of about 16 trains per day.

The alignment work is being financed with bridge commission funds, most of which come from per-car tolls charged to Kansas City Southern Railway for use of the bridge.

The bridge commission will meet again at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Warren County Courthouse.