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Supervisors cancel contract on bridge

Lincoln County supervisors Monday terminated the contract on anew Bogue Chitto bridge, leaving a bonding company to overseecompletion of the overpass that has resulted in lengthy roadclosure.

“The Bogue Chitto bridge is officially in default today,” CountyEngineer Carl Ray Furr said Monday following the board action.

With the action, the county’s contract with MidSouthConstruction was terminated and the bonding company left incharge.

The bonding agency has 20 days to take over the job orsubcontract for completion of the job. Furr said representatives ofthe Great Insurance Company of the West were expected to be at thebridge site Thursday morning for a pre-bid conference withprospective new contractors.

“They are moving in a expeditious manner,” Furr said.

The bridge has been under construction for about two years. OnMonday, Furr did not have a timetable for when the project could becompleted.

“After Thursday, we’ll have a better idea about what they’regoing to do,” Furr said. “We’re keeping the lines of communicationopen.”

The original bridge contract was for $2.8 million, with thecontractor having paid $2.63 million for work done. With only about$550,000 in federal funds remaining, Furr told residents during arecent community meeting that the bonding agency would likely takea hit to complete the work.

Word of possible progress on the bridge was welcome news Mondayafternoon for Bogue Chitto resident Jeff Wilson, who operates apeanut shack near the closed bridge. As his business sufferedbecause of the closure, he admitted to being vocal in hiscomplaints and efforts to get the project completed.

“I was about give up on them,” Wilson said.

Wilson also complained about the detour needed because of theclosure.

“It’s 21 miles for me to go half a mile to see my son,” Wilsonsaid of his son Donald, who lives just across the river on HuntersRoad.

While he was glad to hear news about the bridge, Wilson said itwill still take time to complete.

“(The contractors) got to have time to figure up a bid. … ,”Wilson said. “Any way you look at it, they won’t open that bridgethis year.”