Lorraine bridge work underway with tight schedule

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It seems getting a Harrison County bridge open will be a big job done in a very short amount of time. Lorraine bridge closed nearly four months ago because of safety concerns. Wednesday morning, public works crews from Biloxi and Gulfport began making repairs to try to get cars rolling through this weekend.

It was a tale of two cities' public works crews. Gulfport crews worked on their side of the Lorraine Road bridge while Biloxi employees were busy on the other. Both teams are tasked with repairing damaged guard rails which means removing pilings that workers said are nearly four decades old.

"Right now some of the pilings are kind of rotted and broken off and causing the railing to drop down," said Gulfport crew leader Robert Cooley. "So we're in the process or redoing the pilings and going to raise up the guard rail."

Crews said the new pilings are made of treated wood and will have a concrete base. One day into the job, Gulfport crews felt confident about their progress.

"I'm going to be done I'm hoping tomorrow," Cooley said. "I'm supposed to have it done by Friday, but we're going to work as late as we can tonight and then finish up tomorrow hopefully."

On the Biloxi side of the bridge, the needed repair job is more extensive. Crews describe it as like trying to do two weeks worth of work in two days. Biloxi's interim public works director said the city is committed to trying to get this all done by Friday.

Neighbors said it's nice to see cooperation among local governments.

"I was confident we'd see it," said Len Blackwell, resident. "I was glad to see the cities of Biloxi, and Gulfport and Harrison County get together and work on this project because it's an important project to the businesses in Woolmarket and the businesses here in Gulfport too."

Some residents said they are hoping that along with fixing the guard rails, the cities would also consider putting up signs warning drivers about deer. They said with no traffic the last few months, the animals have been spotted out on the road more often.

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