Warren County repairing Halls Ferry bridge; road to be closed for months

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

A bridge on Halls Ferry Road in Warren County will soon be repaired, the Board of Supervisors announced Monday — but not without a road closure of at least three months.

The bridge, located on Halls Ferry Road at the Vicksburg city limits near Lee Circle, is approximately 30 years old and is a victim of scour, engineer Brian Robbins said. Scour is the engineering term for the erosion of soil surrounding a bridge foundation. Bridge scour occurs when fast-moving water around a bridge removes sediment from around the bridge foundation, leaving behind scour holes. These holes can seriously compromise the bridge’s integrity.

Repairing the bridge will also increase its posted weight, meaning heavier vehicles will be able to safely cross it.

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“When you start load rating a structure like that, there are more piles exposed instead of penetrating into the ground, so it gets a low rating, which is the reason we’re doing these repairs,” Robbins said. “We want to add some pilings so we can improve the posting of the bridge. Something that’s been a hindrance to the public is that people hauling logs or materials can’t go across it, since it’s posted for such a low weight.”

The project is estimated at $989,299 and will be funded through Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Funds, which are administered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Road closures will begin in the last week of October, with public notices published by local media.

Robbins said there is no available funding for a temporary bridge, so the only option for motorists in the area is to reroute traffic. The marked detour will be to Gibson Road, Lee Road and Indiana Drive to Porters Chapel Road, but there are other routes available for local residents, he said.

Although it may be a headache for some residents, Robbins said, it is in the best interest of the county to get the project completed.

“If you leave it unchecked, we’ll continue to have erosion problems,” Robbins said.