Supervisors concerned about railroad bridge overpass at Ozona
During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, talk once again was focused on a bridge used by the railroad and the accidents that have occurred near this structure.
The bridge in question is over Highway 11 at Ozona and has been repeatedly struck by trucks being over the posted height clearance of 13'6''.
Just last week, a log truck lost part of its load when one of its logs smashed into the crossing causing the tree to come crashing down onto the Highway. A commuter in a small car became involved and caused significant damage to the vehicle. The driver was fortunate and didn’t receive major injury.
Board President Sandy Kane Smith voiced his concern about the current situation with the bridge.
“Something bad is going to happen there, and I know it’s not us (our responsibility), but it’s our job to get something done,” Smith stated.
Smith is concerned for many reasons and fears a scenario where some day you may have something hit the bridge, damage it, and a tanker (train) coming by and it fall onto the roadway.
Supervisor Hudson Holliday asked for guidance in finding a way to warn drivers that their height exceeded the clearance before they reached the bridge. A permanent fix was put in place along Highway 11 at Lumberton by widening the road and adjusting the grade at which vehicles approach. Holliday suggested the possibility of some type of laser warning that would detect when a vehicle approaches the railroad bridge, and if the laser detects the vehicle is over the currently posted height of 13’ 6’’, warning lights would flash alerting the driver before the vehicle reaches the bridge overpass.
County Engineer Les Dungan told the Supervisors that he would request a meeting with the Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King to begin discussion on how to work out a solution to the issue at the bridge overpass.