Ballground Road bridge closed

Published 4:15 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

A timber piling bridge on Ballground Road has been closed because the pilings have reached a point where the bridge is too dangerous to cross, said Brian Robbins with Stantec, the county engineer.

Stantec is the State Aid Program engineer for the county.

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He said the bridge is on Ballground Road about 2 miles east of Mississippi 3 and will be closed until further notice.

“This is not the bridge over Ballground Creek,” Robbins said. “This is a relief bridge. The channel is dry; it only gets water when it rains. It’s the short relief bridge.”

Robbins said the bridge has been deteriorating for several years, and the Warren County Board of Supervisors approved replacing it more than two years ago.

“We’ve designed it, it’s been sitting on the shelf waiting for federal funding; all the rights of way have been bought and it’s been sitting on the shelf in excess of two years, but there is no federal funding to improve it.”

Robbins said engineers at Stantec have been monitoring the bridge about every three months since the last State Aide bridge inspection program in 2016 to make sure its passable until funding is available.

Because of the condition of the timbers, the bridge’s weight limit had been reduced, he said, adding, “A follow up review today revealed it needed to be closed for safety purposes. One of the pilings is in very bad shape. It’s more than one piling, but one of them is the critical item that made us concerned enough to close it.”

He said the bridge’s problem was similar to the Zollingers Hill bridge in Vicksburg, “Except this one’s a lot more susceptible, because it is on Ballground Road. There’s a lot of logging that goes on out there, unlike Zollingers Hill — it’s in the city and not subjected to the loads that this one is.

“The log trucks are not staying off of it. We don’t want a log truck, a school bus full of kids or anything going off of it and taking that risk.”

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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