I-10 Bridge In Jackson County Reopen To Traffic - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/01/05

I-10 Bridge In Jackson County Reopen To Traffic

It was a major step forward in the recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

The I-10 bridge over the Pascagoula River was reopened to traffic Saturday.

The eastbound lanes of the bridge were heavily damaged because of Katrina and drivers who used the bridge were restricted to west bound lanes.

Now, less than three weeks later, the repairs are complete and the bridge is whole once more.

"I wouldn't have miss this for anything," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

Governor Barbour was one of many state officials who came to celebrate a big step in the recovery process, the reopening of the eastbound lanes of the I-10 Bridge in Jackson County.

"It gives people hope and it gives them a recognition that the state does care about them and we are trying to help," said Governor Barbour.

The bridge crossing the Pascagoula River was pounded by a barge during Hurricane Katrina.

"This three hundred foot section of the bridge had to be taken completely out and then we built a new bridge on the top of it," said Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown.

That left drivers with just the west bound lanes which was turned into two-way traffic.

But what officials are most proud of is that repairs took only 20 days to complete.

"The fact that it was done by a Mississippi company in record time is a huge statement about our ability and our commitment," said Governor Barbour.

"There were people who felt we need to go and get the big contractors from somewhere else and to know we have people right here in our area so proud," said Brown.

Governor Barbour says South Mississippi still has a long way to go but he's ready to help in this rebuilding process.

"We have a tall mountain in front of us but we are going to get over it because we are committed to making progress," the governor said.

Repairs to the I-10 Bridge cost more than five million dollars.

By: Patrice Clark

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