BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi-Ocean Springs high rise was the last bridge to re-open after it was shutdown Tuesday because of icy conditions. It was shortly after noon on Thursday when police removed the barricades and let the traffic flow.
Some 25,000 drivers use that bridge daily.
At ten o'clock Thursday morning, ice still covered much of the bridge deck on the Biloxi-Ocean Springs high rise. But salt solution and sunshine would soon hasten a Thursday thaw.
Mother Nature handled the sun, while Anthony Cates and his MDOT crew applied the salt.
"It's actually mixed in a tank in Hattiesburg and they bring it to us in thousand gallon containers, and we put it in those 350 gallons and then spray it on the road. And it helps it break loose quicker," said Cates.
While MDOT spread the liquid salt, Biloxi police cruised the bridge, checking on the progress of the ongoing melt. This ice has been stubborn.
"It's been real hard to fight. But seems like it's going pretty good now. We can see the end of it," said Cates.
By late morning Thursday, that combination of salt solution and sunshine was beginning to work. Large patches of ice on the bridge deck were quickly melting away.
Around 11:15, there was a premature crossing from the Ocean Springs side. It seems a Missouri visitor made a mistake.
"Our fire chief watched y'all drive around the barricades. That's how we found out," an Ocean Springs officer told the motorist.
The apologetic driver is let through with a verbal warning.
After a final conference between Biloxi and Ocean Springs police, the barricades finally come down, shortly after noon. Drivers were most certainly ready.
"Absolutely. Been waiting for it!" said one man, ready to cross the bridge toward Ocean Springs.
Another said it was better than a crowded I-110.
"Yes sir. We tried to go to D'Iberville and it is stopped traffic," he explained.
Anthony Cates and his storm weary MDOT crew were happy the icy conditions are gone.
"It's been hard. long nights. Long days. But it's been good. Everybody's been cooperating with us. Law enforcement and everybody. It's been good," he said.