District 5’s last fully timber bridge to be replaced

Published 2:03 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

LOYD STAR — Lincoln County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to accept a bid to replace a bridge on Opelousas Lane NW Wednesday morning. It is the last 100 percent, fully timber bridge in District 5. 

Lincoln County Engineer Ryan Holmes said the low bid was accepted from R&C Construction for $301,000. Local System Bridge Program funding will pay for the entire bridge replacement. 

Doug Falvey, supervisor for District 5, said he worked the last 8 and a half years replacing bridges with timber components as has other supervisors. Opelousas happens to be the last full timber bridge in his district although he has a few with timber components. 

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“It means we have made big strides,” Falvey said. “This is the last one I have in my district that is fully timber. We have been working on it a long time. We kept chipping away until we got them all replaced. I’m thankful it will be gone, it is a safety issue.” 

The bridge on Opelousas Lane is just south of California Road NW and was built in 1979 according to bridge inspection data. Average daily traffic for the bridge is listed as 20 vehicles and the detour route is three miles. 

Mississippi Office of State Aid Construction states the bridge has a posted weight limit of four gross tons. Deck and superstructure ratings for the bridge are listed as poor condition while the substructure is in fair condition along with the channel condition. 

Holmes said the work should start around June. The bridge crosses a slough and it needs to dry a little bit before work can get underway. 

In 2017, Lincoln County had 304 bridges with 108 bridges featuring timber components. 

Lincoln County faced the closures of 40 bridges and a $3 million expenditure on bridge replacement in 2018. Supervisors replaced several bridges with box culverts and Lincoln County now has 290 bridges according to the Mississippi Office of State Aid Construction.

Holmes said of those 290 bridges, 29 have timber components in Lincoln County.