County Engineer Les Dungan
At yesterday’s meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, county engineer Les Dungan notified the supervisors that the recent inspections by the MDOT inspectors returned two critical findings that have forced the immediate closure of two bridges in the county by order from the state. The bridges are located on Olive Church Road and Homer Ladner Road.
Dungan told the board that the temporary closure of Olive Church Road bridge, which is located very close to the Lamar County line, has very few houses on the road and should not have a major impact on the residents in the area have alternate routes to get in and out of the area in spite of the bridge being closed.
Dungan said there are three options for the bridge. One is to leave the bridge closed. The second option for the bridge, which has three pilings, would be to spend $15,000.00 to $25,000.00 on shoring which would put the bridge back in service. That priced if based on the bids in place that are for $5,000.00 per piling. The third option would cost around $150,000.00 to replace the bridge using Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (LSBP) funding, but to the small number of houses serviced by the bridge, the priority to program the road for replacement would be very low. Since the current session of the Mississippi legislature has not yet funded the LSBP program, replacement is not an option at this time, but more of a long-term project. The supervisors instructed Dungan to get a specific bid on the repairs in hopes the cost will be lower than the estimate based on the term bids in place which equates to the $15,000.00 to $25,000.00 amount.
Dungan told the supervisors that the bridge on Homer Ladner was already programmed for replacement and steps were being taken to acquire the adjacent land and right of ways to get the bridge work started. He said option one would be to continue down the path that has been started to replace the bridge with state aid funds that are available. This could take as much as a year with partial closure of the road. A second option would be to utilize two tank car culverts for the understructure while using the top surface of the bridge. Dungan said this could be done as a temporary repair to get the bridge back open and could last as long as twenty-five years. The county could continue with option one for a long-term replacement.
The supervisors and Dungan discussed the option of going with option two and moving the funding to another bridge under the state aid list of county bridges. Dungan was instructed by the board to get an estimate on the cost to repair the bridge using the tank car culverts.
Dungan told the board he would have estimates for both bridges for the next board meeting on February 21st.