HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Investigators with the MS Department of Environmental Quality are putting the Lorraine Road bridge construction site under the microscope. A video sent to WLOX allegedly taken at the site has attracted the investigation.
The Lorraine Road bridge is scheduled to be closed for another five to six months. This closure is so that a new bridge can be constructed right next to the old one. A viewer sent WLOX a video claiming to show debris being dropped into the river beneath the old bridge.
We forwarded that video to MDEQ, which then launched an investigation. According to the contractor, no wrong doing has been committed.
While the investigation continues, surrounding residents and businesses are feeling the brunt of the closure.
"It's inconvenient going around, it is," said restaurant owner James Montgomery.
Although the closure hasn't been as bad as they thought, Montgomery and his family are ready for the bridge to reopen. Every day, they open their small restaurant along Lorraine Road, and have recently noticed a dip in business.
They said the bridge is to blame. But, Montgomery said it could be worse. His family's business sits right on the detour. Some have to travel a little further to reach the new route.
"They have to go all the way around. We just detour a little bit," said Montgomery.
He's glad to see the old bridge go to make way for a new, safer one.
"I'll be honest with you, it was a dangerous curve," Montgomery said, referring to the almost 90 degree turn at the east end of the old bridge.
As for others who live nearby, the bridge closure means more expenses.
"It being closed, it costs me more gas money to go around. More wear and tear on my vehicle," said resident William Richthofen.
He has heard about plans for the bridge for as long as he's lived in the area. He's just hoping the end result will be worth the headache.
"We'll have to see in the long run of how it pans out, you know?" said Richthofen.
MDEQ's investigation into the video sent to WLOX is ongoing. We reached out to the viewer who sent the video, but haven't received a response.
According to L&A contracting, any debris that falls into the river is retrieved and shipped to Warren Paving to be recycled.