Long-awaited Bogue Chitto bridge opens

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

More than two years after work began on it, a new bridge overthe Bogue Chitto River opened to traffic late Friday morning.

Even though some “Road Closed” signs remained in place aroundthe area, Jeff Wilson said they had not stopped cars from crossingthe newly-opened $2.8 million structure.

“It’s just one right after the other,” said the owner of thePeanut Shack, a small business at the west end of the new bridge.”These people are proud that bridge is open.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Wilson said he watched as bridge construction crews opened thebridge around 11:30 a.m. Friday. A grand opening and ribbon-cuttingceremony was being planned for later, he said.

“It’ll be a great help to everybody,” Wilson said of thebridge.

Wilson calculated two years and five months since work on thenew bridge began in the summer of 2003.

Work stopped in September 2004 when the original contractor,Mid-South Construction of Columbia, pulled crews off the job site.Mid-South was declared in default of the contract in June and a newcontractor, T.L. Wallace Construction Company of Columbia, washired to complete the project.

“I’m glad to see it open and I’m glad for the public to have itopen,” Wilson said.

Across the street at the Bogue Chitto Cafe, Brenda Case said thebridge opening had been a “long time coming.”

The cafe, owned by Timmy Leggett and Russell Combre, openedrecently in anticipation of the bridge’s completion. Case wasoptimistic about business with the bridge now open.

“We were busy even when it was closed,” she said. “Hopefully, itwill open up more.”

Russell Roberts, who was helping out with cafe work, expectedcitizens to have a good reaction to the new bridge.

“I think everybody’s going to be real happy,” Roberts said.”It’s been a long-awaited thing for them.”