County Engineer Les Dungan gives the Board of Supervisors an update
During Wednesday’s meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, County Engineer Les Dungan gave the board an update on bridges in the county in regards to needed repairs for the future inspections by the Mississippi Dept of Transportation’s independent inspectors. Dungan noted an article in the Clarion Ledger newspaper that stated there were already 500 bridges statewide that have been closed by MDOT due to inspections.
Locally, Dungan said “There are thirty-five bridges in Pearl River County supported by timber pilings. With that in mind, we have looked at our top ten bridges and have been proactive and identified those bridges that are in risk of being closed. We have done some temporary shoring and repairs to keep them in a condition that should allow them to pass upcoming inspection. I did say upcoming because the consultant inspectors hired by the state have not yet come to Pearl River County. Those 500 bridges that have been closed are in other counties and they have not inspected Pearl River County.”
Dungan said there are four other bridges that he is concerned about that have not been addressed yet. He told the board he felt that thtee of them were manageable and the other bridge he stated that "the county needs to be keenly aware of."
The list of four included bridges located on Ashe Road off Highway 43 (in District 2 north of Highway 26), Oscar Smith Road, Evan Mitchell in Nicholson, and Lakeside Drive near Anchor Lake.
According to Dungan, Ashe Road will not be a major impact to traffic if it is closed before repairs can be done due to it being a loop road that leaves and re-enters Highway 43 at two different intersections. Once the bridge work being done on Nellie Burks Road is complete, then Oscar Smith Road bridge will be next for repairs and the bridge is programmed for state aid funds.
Dungan said “Lakeside is the bridge that we need to do something about because it could cause some problems due the impact on traffic in Anchor Lake, especially if the spillway gets high water.”
For the Lakeside Drive, Dungan offered two options. Dungan said one option would be a rehabilitation of the bridge that would cost around $150,000.00 and it is eligible for LSBP funds (Local System Bridge Replacement Program). Another option is a more temporary option that would replace the seven pilings on the bridge at a cost of between $25,000.00 to $35,000.00, but there is no guarantee that this would keep the bridge from being deemed for the closure list by the independent inspectors once they come to Pearl River County. Dungan recommended to take option the rehabilitation option. The board took no action at this time.
Also during the meeting, the Board approved a request from the Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin to accept his resignation from the Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees and to appoint Assistant Superintendent Missy Holston to take his place.
The next meeting of the board of Supervisors will be on January 2nd.