City to take bids for Kemp Bottom demolition

Published 6:06 pm Monday, January 1, 2018

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have extended the emergency declaration for the Kemp Bottom Road Bridge off Warrenton Road.

The bridge has been closed since July 25 when it was determined to be unsafe. It then collapsed into Hennessey Bayou July 28. The board declared an emergency to fix the bridge July 7, but was unable to find the $1.2 million to immediately fix it.

Stantec was hired by the city to prepare plans and specifications to remove the bridge, and the board on Dec. 7 approved a $300,000 budget amendment to demolish it.

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“We’re putting a demolition contract together now, and we’ll take bids after the first of the year (to remove the bridge),” public works director Garnet Van Norman said. “The Corps (of Engineers) wants it out of Hennessey Bayou and we’re going to have to get it out.”

He said the demolition project will involve removing the bridge and the supports for a nearby railroad bridge along Kemp Bottom Road that was built when Entergy’s Baxter Wilson power plant at the end of the road was built as a natural gas plant.

The problem with the bridge dates back to the 2011 flood of the Mississippi River.

Engineers said the water entering Hennessy’s Bayou during the flood and then receding quickly created the present erosion problem that caused the bridge to collapse.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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