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Bridge repair still ongoing in county

The consultant inspectors hired by the state to look at all of the bridges in the state that are supported with timber pilings visited Jefferson Davis County during the month of September.

They ordered two more bridges closed in the county based on poor condition of the timber pilings.

One bridge is in District 2 on Bass Burkett Road.

“The bridge on Bass Burkett is one we already have under contract for replacement,” said county engineer Les Dungan. “We do have a plan for taking care of that situation.”

The other bridge is in District 1 on South Pleasant Hill Road over Dry Creek.

There were 17 bridges in the county with timber pilings being inspected by the consultants.

“After they called with the critical findings and closure recommendations on those two bridges, I inquired if we could expect more closures. They informed me they have looked at 14 of the 17 bridges.”

One bridge remaining to be inspected is on Jones Ford Road. The other two bridges are in District 4 on Sam Graham Road. All three bridges will be inspected at a later date.

“One of the things we are dealing with is we have a different consultant currently than we did last year. The dynamic has changed and sometimes there is a different opinion between companies.”

Funding for the bridge repairs is coming from state emergency road and bridge money.

“I am hoping the state will keep this funding in place, said Dungan.

“Some of the neighboring counties have borrowed money to work on their timber piled bridges. Fortunately, we have not had to do that yet in Jefferson Davis County.”

Of the 120 total bridges in the county, 24 remain supported by timber pilings that do not have a funding plan in place and are in need of immediate repair.

Over the past 12-18 months, a total 12 bridges have been, or are currently being repaired or replaced.