Wade, second-longest member, leaving bridge panel

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vicksburg Bridge Commission member Ray “T-Bone” Wade, the panel’s second-longest serving member, is sticking to a decision to leave the five-member panel after its Dec. 8 meeting.

Wade, 76, a railroad retiree, cited ongoing health concerns for leaving the commission, which is in charge of the upkeep and daily operations of the 80-year-old U.S. 80 bridge across the Mississippi River.

“That’s going to be it for me,” Wade said after Wednesday’s meeting. “I’m just going to the house.”

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Members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors appoint the five bridge commissioners to five-year terms that end annually. Wade’s position is appointed from District 3. The district’s supervisor, Charles Selmon, said he expects to name another person in time for supervisors’ Jan. 4 meeting.

Whoever is chosen will serve until July 2012, when the seat’s term ends.

Funds collected mainly from tolls on rail cars pay for maintenance to the structure, last used for vehicular traffic in 1998. About $1.8 million in capital spending is planned to shore up support piers and stop nearby soil erosion.