Jackson County leaders acquire nearly $2 million in funding to r - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County leaders acquire nearly $2 million in funding to replace aging bridge in Gautier

Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - One of Gautier's oldest bridges that received a failing grade last year by the state will be replaced. Jackson County and city officials recently secured the money needed to move forward with project. Drivers and those who live near the overpass say it's about time.

“We are standing on Graveline Road at the LaMotte Bayou. This bridge that we are standing on was recently rated at a sufficiency rating of 10.6, which is low,” Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum said.

That low rating is not surprising to many of the residents who travel the LaMotte Bayou Bridge in South Gautier. They said usually high tides or a heavy rain washes out the bridge.

“That is my problem. I can't stay here during a storm,” resident Donna Ryan said.

“The last tropical storm we had, this area did go underwater. We had to have the fire department to respond and I was trapped,” Gautier Councilman Casey Vaughn said.

City Councilman Casey Vaughn represents the area and admits flooding is just of many issues on this overpass.

“The pathway is deteriorating, it is hard for children to ride their bikes when cars are passing and it is dangerous ,” said Vaughn.

“This bridge has a lot of years on it, but it has a lot of steel structure underneath it that has deteriorated because of the saltwater,” said Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum.

Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum said for years he and city have been fighting for funding with to fix the problems.

He's now secured nearly $2 million in grant money to replace the narrow, aging, flood prone bridge.

“It will go from a 76 foot bridge to 720 foot bridge. It will be little wider, it will a five foot sidewalk going the whole length of the bridge. It will be at an elevation of 12 feet and it will be a lot higher than where we are standing today.”

Residents hope the future improvements will increase safety and allow them to go out the area faster during bad storms.

“This is one that goes primarily eastward and that is important for people down here to get where they need to be when they want to get there,” said resident Paige Roberts.

“I think it is great, I think it is wonderful. I think it will help,” said Ryan.

Mangum and Vaughn said construction is expected to start on the bridge early next year.

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