Lincoln County bridge projects could come to fruition as state approves $100 million in funding

Published 12:47 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Bridges received needed attention Monday morning at the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors meeting. County Engineer Ryan Holmes gave an update on bridge projects and the possibility of securing funding for additional projects in the county from the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair fund. 

A bridge on Pleasant Ridge Northwest has been closed to traffic for several months but progress is being made. The Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction (OSARC) Projects website shows it is under construction and is not open to vehicles yet. The bridge crosses the Bayou Pierre in Loyd Star.

Good weather this week should help the project wrap up soon and dirt crews will finish everything in a couple of weeks, he said. Holmes said the county applied for ERBR funds to use on the bridge but did not receive any funds for the project from ERBR and got to work on it anyway. 

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Holmes said the Mississippi Legislature approved $100 million in ERBR funding for projects applied for in 2022. No new projects could receive any funding. Holmes spoke to the Mississippi Department of Transportation who told him they would review a funding list from 2022 applications, rank the projects and purge it. 

“We applied for bridge funds on Shady Grove, Mt. Zion, Lott Smith and Bethel roads. Those should be at the top of the list,” Holmes said. “Bethel is probably the one that needs work the most. Shady Grove and Bethel need replacing. Bethel is all timber and is on life support.” 

Shady Grove’s bridge is located just north of Fox Road as it crosses a tributary of Little Creek. Constructed in 1977, the Shady Grove bridge averages 270 daily users and has a weight limit of 17 tons. It was rated in good or satisfactory condition unlike the Bethel Road bridge which received poor condition in channel, substructure, superstructure and deck ratings according to the local bridge inventory data on Mississippi’s OSARC website. The bridge on Bethel Road was constructed with timber in 2002 and crosses Jordan Creek. Its posted weight limit is 10 tons. 

The bridge needing work on Lott Smith crosses the Bayou Pierre and has a weight limit of 17 tons. It was built in 1961 and sees an average daily use of 210 crossings according to OSARC data. 

Just down the road from Lott Smith, a bridge on Mt. Zion Road east of I-55 needs work too. The bridge crosses a tributary of the Bayou Pierre and was built in 1965. It has a daily use of 320 crossings and has a weight limit of 10 tons.