Bridge work resumes after brief storm setback

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 19, 2005

Construction workers on the Bogue Chitto River bridge say theywere slowed by Hurricane Katrina but they are continuing to makeprogress on the long overdue project.

Jimmy Bullock, site supervisor for T.L. Wallace Construction Co.of Columbia, said the bridge suffered no damage in the storm, but atemporary bridge on the site used to transfer men and machineryacross the river was washed away. It has since been rebuilt.

Crews only missed one week of work on the main bridge because ofthe storm, he said. Katrina struck the Lincoln County area on Aug.29 and crews were back on the site on Sept. 6.

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“We’re going to get it. Don’t everybody give up on us,” Bullocksaid. “Everyone here is being patient.”

T.L. Wallace only received the contract to complete the bridgein June after the original contractor went into default and wasterminated from the project.

The bridge has been the subject of controversy in the BogueChitto area since it was closed nearly two years ago. Originallyprojected by December 2005 at the latest, the bridge lay idle fromSeptember, when the original contractor, Mid-South Construction ofColumbia, removed its work crews from the site, until June whenT.L. Wallace was contracted.

Bullock said despite the storm setback they are progressing onthe bridge.

One section of the bridge was poured Tuesday, a second Thursdayand a third was scheduled to be completed Saturday if all theelements in a tight schedule could be finished in time, hesaid.

That would leave two more sections that remain to be poured,Bullock said.

Katrina may still have some effect on the bridge effortshowever, he said. The bridge crew may be pulled from the site for”a week or so” to do some emergency repair work on Interstate 10 onthe devastated Gulf Coast.

Regardless, Bullock said, dirt work and concrete curbing crewswill continue to work on the site.