I-110 bridge repairs begin Tuesday; Traffic delays expected

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - One of the main north-south connectors on the coast is about to undergo some major repair work. A $4 million project to improve the I-110 bridge begins this week and will last for several months.

Once the main portion of work gets started, lanes on the bridge will be shifted and one southbound lane will be closed. Project engineer Michael Harter says the earliest impact on traffic will likely happen beginning next week.

The repair work involves replacing the entire steel grid decking on the drawbridge. The surface has become a patchwork of welds and emergency repairs.

"The steel grate is coming up, which is puncturing tires as people go across the bridge. And they're going to be replacing that grate," said Keith Davis, with the D'Iberville Police Department.

Once construction on the bridge deck begins, lanes will be shifted around the repair work.  Traffic lanes will become more narrow and one southbound lane will be shut down.

"Our advice to motorists from the D'Iberville Police Department is just to have patience. Traffic is going to get backed up, we understand that. And we're asking people to just be patient with us as we try to get people through and back across the I-110 bridge," said Capt. Davis.

In a separate project, work is underway beneath the bridge on the "timber bumper system" that helps guide barges and boats through the span's opening. The brake system on the drawbridge will also be replaced.

Even though it doesn't open very often, keep in mind the I-110 is still a drawbridge. That's why this repair project was scheduled outside of hurricane season, to lessen any impact from restricted openings.

MDOT Project Engineer Michael Harter said the entire mechanical system of the drawbridge will soon be replaced, but that's a separate project.

The repair work about to begin will first involve removing the concrete barriers that separate north and southbound bridge traffic. Lanes will then be shifted to accommodate the steel deck replacement.

"And we're just asking people to be patient with us. MDOT is going to be getting these repairs done as quickly as possible. And if people show a little patience, I think we can get through this peacefully," said Davis.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.