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County Engineer updates board on Pearl River County bridges

County Engineer Les Dungan (pictured above-standing) provided the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors a report on bridges in the county that are supported by timber pilings at last Wednesday’s board meeting.

Dungan noted that at the beginning of the current Board of Supervisors’ term, Pearl River County was maintaining 35 bridges with timber components.

Currently, 11 have been replaced, 5 have received temporary repairs, 5 are under contract for rehabilitation, 3 have a funding plan in place for replacement, and 11 remain in need of replacement/rehabilitation funding.

Dungan separated the bridges into three categories: Those with no funding plan, those with a funding plan, and those currently under construction.

Dungan said those with no funding will require $3.7 million to rehabilitate the piliings, and those currently under construction are estimated to be around $285,000 which shows the county will need around $4 million to finish all the bridges.

Dungan told the board that he was hopeful the county that additional LSBP funding will be provided by the State of Mississippi during the upcoming special session targeting deficient bridges across the state. During that session, the Senate passed the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act.

According to the language in the legislation, the money would come from the state's 7 percent use tax on internet and out-of-state sales, revenue from recently legalized sports betting, and a new tax on hybrid and electric cars. The same measure also includes borrowing $300 million, with $250 million going to an emergency repair fund for the Mississippi Department of Transportation and $50 million expected to be earmarked to special specific projects.

As for an update on work in Pearl River County, contractors recently replaced two more timber supported bridges. A final inspection has been held for the contract rehabilitating two timber supported bridges on Progress-Silver Run Road, one over Cow Pen Creek and the other over Juniper Creek. These bridges (pictured below) were rehabilitated by replacing the timber piles with those made of pre-stressed concrete.

Pictures provided by Les Dungan

In order to “stretch” the county’s budget, the existing precast concrete deck slabs were reused. The total construction cost for the two-site project was approximately $325,000.00. Funds for the project were provided by the State of Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction.

Dungan said the work on Harry Sones Road (pictured below) is progressing well and some of the pilings have been driven for the bridge, and while doesn’t have an exact date for estimated completions, he believes the road will be completed in a few weeks. Funds for this project have been provided to the county via the Office of State Aid Road Construction’s Local System Bridge Program (LSBP).

Picture provided by Les Dungan

Dungan also stated that construction on Oscar Smith Road is underway and the next sites in order to see construction on the bridges will be Sones Chapel Road, Nellie Burks Road, and the bridge on Anchor Lake Road has been advertised for bids on September 11th.


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