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Kemp Bottom Road Bridge is a bridge to our economic future

For those who don’t travel that road — or rather, used to travel that road — the significance of the Kemp Bottom Road Bridge might not be fully understood. 

The bridge, which once served as the only direct access to Entergy’s Baxter Wilson facility, collapsed in 2017 due to ongoing erosion around the bridge that spanned Hennessey Bayou.

For more than three years, the area which not only includes Entergy’s facility but vital land and riverfront has all but been cut off. 

In that time, in those years, the city of Vicksburg has pushed for funding to both replace the bridge and correct the erosion issue. That work is now underway as the city has approved the project.

But yet, there are still those who question the road and bridge’s value, question the importance of spending millions of dollars on a bridge to Entergy’s plant that has all but been retired and operating on a mere fraction of what it used to.

Why is this is so important? Why should we care?

The reason this project is so important, crucial even, is because Vicksburg and Warren County’s industrial base needs room to grow. And, this project — much of which is being funded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and a grant from the National Resource Conservation Service — is crucial to that future growth. 

Fixing this bridge and gaining better access not just to Entergy’s facility, but to the undeveloped lands around it, is an investment in Vicksburg and Warren County’s future.

The city of Vicksburg has made an investment, and the Warren County Board of Supervisors is considering supporting it as well. These leaders — along with our community’s economic development team — know the value of this project and we should support those efforts.

Fixing this bridge is not only needed for our community’s present, but it is a roadway — as small as it may be — to Vicksburg and Warren County’s economic future.