I-110 bridge work coming to an end

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you've been getting traffic headaches driving the I-110 bridge for the past four months, you're about to get some relief. The work to replace the entire steel grid on the drawbridge portion of the span is just about over.

Traffic is flowing smoothly on the I-110 bridge these days, as the massive $4 million construction project is winding down. Signs with lane closure notices will soon be a thing of the past.

Gabe Faggard is the MDOT engineer overseeing the project.

"The job must be completed by the start of hurricane season on June first, and it does appear that we're going to finish actually a month ahead of schedule," Faggard said.

The last phase of the project involves forming and pouring new concrete barriers on the span, and then removing the temporary barriers. That job should take about another week to finish.  Then, the bridge tenders office will be in full use once again, ready to let big boats come and go from the back bay.

Inside the heart of the bridge, the noise from cars passing overhead if deafening.  But Faggard said the lifting equipment will be put through the paces Thursday night.

"This evening, we're going to be balance testing the span.  When we removed the old span and put the new one in, there are some additional components that were added," Faggard said.  "It changes up the balance of that span."

He added that this was one of the most challenging jobs ever done by MDOT.

"When you're working in such a tight area like this bridge is, it's very dangerous."

"I think that Katrina has taught the coast patience," Faggard said.  "I think when they saw the work that we had to do, what was necessary, and I think they have been patient.  We've had a few hiccups here and there, but overall, we're very pleased with how the public has taken this project."

Testing of the span begins Thursday night at 9pm, and will last for about four hours.  Because of that, both northbound and southbound traffic will be restricted several times during the process.

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