Road work will continue through Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2002

Mississippi River Bridge construction backs up traffic in the westbound lane of Interstate 20 past the Halls Ferry Road exit Thursday.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[05/10/02]Motorists on Interstate 20 will continue to see traffic backed up on the Mississippi River Bridge until late Saturday afternoon, officials of the Mississippi and Louisiana transportation departments said.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development began Thursday closing the I-20 bridge for 5- to 10-minute intervals from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. to allow workers to install scaffolding to allow maintenance such as cleaning and painting.

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Officials said they did not anticipate more than 10 delays over the three days of work and that the work should be complete no later than 4 p.m. Saturday.

Louisiana and Vicksburg law enforcement officers were on hand to assist motorists. In spite of that, several times Thursday traffic was backed up nearly to Clay Street when halts were called.

In a talk to the Vicksburg Rotary Club Thursday, Dick Hall, the Central District commissioner for MDOT, referred to the work saying that the painting project was jointly funded by Louisiana and Mississippi with each state paying half of the $17.5 million cost.

When the contract was awarded to Texas Bridge Inc. of Humble, Texas, in the spring of 2001, company officials estimated it would take two to three years to finish sandblasting all of the steel support members of the 28-year-old bridge and repainting it an off-white color instead of the original green.