Jackson County leaders to spend millions on bridge and road work

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A long list of crumbling roads and worn out bridges in Jackson County will soon be repaired. Supervisors earmarked $6 million in the new budget for major road improvement projects.

Shirley Chambers has to drive the Bay Avenue Bridge in Moss Point often, but doesn't like it.

"This bridge is sinking in, it has sinks in it. When you come across it, you really have to drive very slowly or you will damage your car," Chambers said about the condition of the bridge.

Moss Point Aldermen Robert Byrd agrees and said when there is a heavy rain, the bridge floods. Byrd points out that this is a city bridge, but the county has committed to pay for a stronger and longer lasting bridge.

"They are going to raise the bridge and have it at angle where the water will flow off of it at all times," Byrd said.

In Pascagoula, Jackson County Supervisor Mike Magnum said the county is also replacing this deteriorating bridge on Beach Boulevard.

"You have heard about those on the news from time to time where a bridge would collapse.  Of course, we don't have terribly big bridges, but we would hate for one to collapse."

The county's asphalt machines will stay pretty hot in the coming months.  Mangum said the crews will repave 45 miles of road.

"Some of the roads, the asphalt is deteriorated on them and needs replacing.  Some of them [roads] have deteriorated enough that there are potholes in it."

Jackson County has more than 15 major road and bridge projects it is set to complete by the end of 2010.  Supervisors said it will cost millions to do the improvement jobs because the bad economy is driving up the price of materials.

"The materials have gone up significantly. To do the same amount of roads we were doing in 2004, we have to put the more money into it just to do the same amount."

County leaders said they are confident this investment will ensure safe and smoother rides for citizens.

To see the entire Jackson County FY 2010 Budget Hearing Presentation, visit http://www.co.jackson.ms.us/img/financials-current/budget-presentation.pdf.

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