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January 31, 2023

Laughlin Bridge Update

Work estimated to be completed by end of summer

By Jack Criss, The Bolivar Bullet

The bridge on Laughlin Road over Jones Bayou had been in need of replacement for some time, with patches put in place  through the years as stop-gap measures. However, the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors was recently able to find some state funding through the LSBP (Local System Bridge Program) to replace the bridge, a project which will end up costing about $500,000. “We are indeed making progress in fully replacing Laughlin Bridge and are installing a new, concrete box culvert,” said Josh McPherson, Vice-President of the newly-renamed Eley-McPherson Engineering, P.A. “It’s a double-barreled, 12 x 16 box culvert. A couple of years ago we programmed the bridge to be replaced, after having to close it from time-to-time to make the repairs to keep it operable,” he added. “But, after acquiring all of the right-of-ways and getting the okay on other necessary prerequisites, we were able to bid the project out on February 16 of this year. Construction began in May and the estimate now is that we’ll be completed with the work by the end of the summer.” Currently, drivers are being detoured off of Laughlin Road through the Oakridge subdivision and Redbud to Lee Street in order to get around the work-in-progress.  “It has been a major inconvenience for the frequent travelers through the area and the residents of the subdivisions,” said McPherson. “We understand that and appreciate the public’s patience. However, when the project is completed, we’ll have a new bridge that will be in good shape for 50-plus years, so it’s well worth it.” The contractor will be Colom Construction out of Ripley, MS  and it will mark the first time the county has worked with the firm.  “They do a great deal of the kind of construction we needed done on the bridge,” said McPherson. “The box culvert, concrete-pouring type work. Colom is a good match and we’re glad to be working with them.”

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