Popp's Ferry Bridge update

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Joe McGee, the owner of Joe McGee construction, says so far the news is still good for drivers waiting for the Popp's Ferry Bridge to open.

"We're on schedule. We're off and running," said McGee.

For each day the company is late on finishing the project, it has to pay $75,000. While work is moving as planned, McGee says there's always one factor that lies beyond their control when it comes to the April 28th deadline.

"That has a lot to do with this weather," says McGee.

The threat of severe weather Sunday evening had workers anchoring down barges and tying down equipment. But, with work underway 24 hours a day, McGee says the April 28th deadline is attainable.

"April 28th is our goal, and it's the deadline set by MDOT," says McGee.

By early Monday morning, crews plan to do a test run on driving in the concrete piling. If all goes well, the 12 concrete pilings, more than 100 feet long, will start going in to build up the base of the damaged bridge.

"We have the pilings loaded on the barge now, and they're sitting out in position for us to start  setting those up," says McGee.

By the end of the week, the crew could begin hanging beams, that precedes the deck-laying and concrete pouring for the bridge.  While there are always unforeseen challenges in completing such a large-scale project, McGee says their still on track for April 28th.

"We anticipate on being able to have it open for traffic."

If McGee construction wraps up the project early, it'll receive a $75,000 per-day-bonus. Walkers and bike riders won't be able to use the bridge until sometime in June.  The aluminum railing on the pedestrian walkway has to be specially made and delivered.

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