Supervisors look at options in replacing Ballground Road bridge

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Warren County officials are weighing their options after a timber piling bridge on Ballground Road had to be closed last week.

Brian Robbins and John McKee with Stantec, the county engineers, met with the Warren County Board of Supervisors Monday to discuss the bridge, which has been scheduled for replacement for the last two years.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

McKee told the supervisors the bridge pilings had “finally got to the point we had to close it.”

Robbins said the replacement bridge has been designed and “it’s been sitting on the shelf waiting for federal funding” for more than two years. The problem is there is no federal funding to improve it.

“They were right at the door and about to fund the project,” McKee said.

McKee said their option is to deprogram the project from federal funding and transfer it to a state aid project in order to use state aid funds.

The supervisors must also decide if they want to do a temporary fix to the current bridge or devote funds to a diversion bridge that will have to be constructed before the current bridge is replaced.

Board President Richard George asked what kind of timeline are they looking at?

“We’ve been hung up three years with this bridge,” George said. “We need to know if we get it under construction quick enough, should we close it, put in the diversion and then tear out the bridge or create a temporary fix.”

The engineers told the supervisors it will take 6-8 months to replace the bridge.

Unsafe to cross

Because of the condition of the timbers, the bridge’s weight limit had been reduced, according to Robbins.

“One of the pilings is in very bad shape,” Robbins said. “It’s more than one piling, but one of them is the critical item that made us concerned enough to close it.”

The bridge, which is the relief bridge and not the bridge that crosses Ballground Creek, is about 2 miles east of Mississippi 3, will remain closed until further notice.