County eyes ambitious bridge replacement plan

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Nov. 17, 2002
Ten of the 309 bridges in Lauderdale County are scheduled for replacement this budget year if funds permit.
Terrell Temple, engineer with Engineering Plus, the county's state contracted engineering firm, said the county has replaced 79 bridges since 1990.
But, he said, 79 more bridges remain eligible for federal replacement funds.
Two people were killed and a third remains missing in the Nov. 2 collapse of a heavily traveled, century-old, one-lane bridge crossing the Chickasawhay River on Old U.S. 84 near Waynesboro.
A new bridge was under construction about 200 from the scene of the collapse. The new bridge is scheduled to open next summer.
The accident has put the state's bridges in the spotlight.
In addition to the 79 bridges in need of replacement in Lauderdale County, 51 bridges have "critical" components that require they be inspected once a year.
The Federal Highway Administration requires all bridges be inspected biannually, and that bridges with critical components be evaluated annually.
Temple said a bridge is considered critical based on its age, amount and type of traffic that crosses it, previous repairs and the condition of its components.
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors recently approved funds for the inspection of the bridges with critical components.
The first three bridges scheduled for replacement in Lauderdale County are on Liberty Church, Causeyville and Ben White Johnson roads.

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