Highway 57 bridge construction on schedule

Highway 57 bridge construction on schedule
Construction on the new Highway 57 bridge should be finished by June 2019.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Stephen Trochesset spends a lot of time on his leased property just north of Red Creek and within yards of the Highway 57 bridge construction area. For him, there's no problem, only benefits.

"Not at all. No," he said. "The only thing we've just got to come and go a different way. But, other than that, it hasn't bothered us at all."

He said alternative routes south aren't hard to find, and the construction crews are courteous.

"Nothing but super helpful," Trochesset said. "Coming in and out, like if they're in the way or something, they'll move. They've been nothing but helpful."

The bridge across Red Creek was damaged last September when a track hoe, being hauled south on Highway 57, slammed into the bridge causing all kinds of damage.

"When the truck hit it and damaged the old bridge, we actually pushed the bridge further up and moved the time up," said Jason Winders, area engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. "There were a lot of people who did a lot of hard work real fast to get this project underway to make it happen," he said.

Tanner Construction crews so far have removed the old bridge, put in a temporary work bridge and dug foundation supports. They are putting in temporary supports to begin actual bridge construction. The new bridge is about 300 feet east of where the old bridge once stood, and the $7.5 million project will include a new road.

"This is a fairly complicated bridge," Winder said. "This is not just something we can put together overnight."

But in the meantime, a major route north, away from approaching hurricanes, will be closed for at least a year. Winders is well aware of the timing.

"We appreciate the cooperation with the residents that live in this area," he said. "And I know it's a big inconvenience to them as the bridge is out. We're going to work as hard and as fast as we can to get this bridge operational."

Officials estimate that the bridge will be completed by June 2019.

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