The Neshoba County Board of Supervisors received notification on Tuesday, December 4th, by certified letter from the Office of State Aid Road Construction that two bridges, both already scheduled for replacement, must be immediately closed, as recommended by contract inspectors hired by the State, to ensure compliance with the National Bridge Inspection Standards. The bridges closed are located on County Road 705 in southeast Neshoba County and County Road 628 in northeast Neshoba County.
Both bridges have previously been programmed for replacement. The bridge on road 705 was programmed for replacement through the Local System Bridge Program and the County is currently working to acquire right-of-way for the replacement structure which is anticipated to cost in excess of $600,000. The bridge on road 628 was programmed for replacement through the Federal Aid Bridge Replacement Program and the County recently acquired all right-of-way and has made certification of same to State Aid. While this project is ready to move forward, no funds are currently available in the Federal Aid program as they are being used to hire contract inspectors to perform bridge inspections. This project is expected to cost in excess of $300,000.
The Neshoba County Board of Supervisors is also seeking funding and submitting applications for the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation for both of these bridges, the railroad overpass bridge on County Road 210 and replacement of a bridge with a box culvert on County Road 739.
While we believe that our County Engineer is in a much better position to inspect and determine the sustainability and overall condition of our bridges, both of these structures have been immediately closed to comply with the notification received. The Neshoba County Board of Supervisors has been aggressively replacing bridges with lowered sufficiency ratings, including most recently, bridges on Road 561 (Northside Park), County Road 397, and County Road 624. There are also two separate grant funded projects currently underway that are replacing drainage structures on County Road 832.