Major work was needed, now finished
By Jack Criss
The Bolivar Bullet
The final paperwork was submitted to the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors regarding the Bridge #145 on West Mound Bayou Road over Six Mile Lake. It is approximately three miles west of the town of Mound Bayou. The total project cost was $1.4 million for 190-foot long bridge which has now been opened since February.
“It was another one of the ERBR (Emergency Road and Bridge projects) that we got funding for from the state after the initial federal funds got reallocated,” said Josh McPherson, Engineering Manager for County engineers Eley-Barkley Engineering & Architecture in Cleveland. “We had made repairs to it over the years, closing it briefly and then reopening it. The bridge was another of the four ERBR projects in Bolivar County. The Mississippi Legislature put out $250 million about two years ago for the ERBP and any county or municipality could apply for these funds. The main criteria for obtaining these funds, though, was to repair infrastructure in need of critical repair, primarily bridges. We were fortunate enough here in Bolivar County to receive assistance to work on seven bridges that were in dire need of repair–and the Mound Bayou bridge was one of them.”
One of the biggest driving factors for rebuilding the bridge, which was originally built in the 1960s, was that it frequently went underwater–on numerous occasions–just by the way it’s built, being fairly low.
“We raised it to alleviate that problem and raised the bridge deck four feet, so it’s now very safe and reliable.
“I can’t stress enough how our Bolivar County Board of Supervisors have made much-needed bridge replacement projects a top priority,” said McPherson. “We have re-built and repaired over 75 bridges in the county over the past four years or so which, I can assure you, is totally unheard of in Mississippi. This is all due to the Board’s hard work and dedication. I don’t know if the public here really knows how much they’ve done for Bolivar County roadway system”
District 3 Bolivar County Board Supervisor, Orlando Morton, said, “The bridge had not been up to par–there were many structural problems with it. But, we all put our heads together and obtained state money to reopen it after it has been closed for a number of years. It’s now a brand new bridge and adds much to this county.”