Mayor: Bay Bridge opening 'good news for the whole community'

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Drivers lined up Thursday waiting to cross the Bay St. Louis Bridge again. WLOX News was on the Hancock County side of the bridge as the barricades came down.

Almost 48 hours cut off from the other side of St. Louis Bay was long enough for truck driver Tom Rokocy.

"I just drove straight through Colorado and didn't have a problem til I got to the Bay St. Louis Bridge," said Rokocy.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame jumped into a truck with the police to make sure the bridge was safe to travel.

"We just road the whole bridge and it's pretty much cleared of ice completely, so it's definitely ready to open," explained Fillingame.

Police began removing the barricades from the foot of the bridge at exactly 11:20 Thursday morning. By 11:25, cars were able to travel freely over the bridge.

"Just in time to get to work to the VA. I have to be to work at 12, cutting it a little close," said Hancock County resident Angela Passantino.

Greg Eweld from Wisconsin was one of those waiting patiently for the bridge to open.

"We're headed to Biloxi, so we camped out back there watching and it looks like things are clearing out. So now it looks like we can go," said Eweld.

The mayor said,  "We've never gotten as many phone calls as we've gotten in the past few days asking when the bridge is going to reopen. You don't realize how much you miss and take this bridge for granted until it's not operational for some reason. It's going to be good news for the whole community. Both sides."

Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike DeNardo said it took another dose of de-icing solution by MDOT Thursday morning to clear all of the ice in order to open the bridge.

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