Bridge problems in south Mississippi leave residents frustrated

Wilkinson County bridge repairs in the works. Franklin County Bridge is still in need of repair.
Published: Nov. 26, 2018 at 9:02 PM CST
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WILKINSON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - A heavily traveled bridge in Wilkinson County that was closed for a year caused traveling headaches and safety concerns for drivers.

That bridge will soon reopen, but residents say there are some bridges in neighboring counties still in bad shape.

“If I don’t get anything for Christmas, getting this temporary bridge is on the top of my list,” said Wilkinson County resident Edna Murray.

A little more than a year ago we met Murray. She was outraged about the long commutes and lack of communication regarding the Perry Town Bridge closing.

“Emergency vehicles told us we were kind of on our own," said Murray. "One of the residents' grandmother, it took an hour and half to get to her.”

When 3 On Your Side questioned Wilkinson County officials about the bridge, we were told they closed the state-aid bridge because it was deteriorating, but promised they would find the money to get it reopened.

Monday, the board delivered good news to the residents that a temporary bridge will be installed over The Perry Town Bridge crossing.

“We were very fortunate, through the efforts of state leader Angela Cockerham, to be awarded $1.7 million in BP funding to put in temporary bridges," said Wilkinson County Administrator Bruce Lewis.

There are still some bridge closures causing big problems for drivers in neighboring counties.

In Franklin County, the Low Water Bridge has been closed for nearly year because it is in such bad shape. Residents say a lot of elderly people live in the community and they are not happy about this closure.

Joddie Spring says she worried about her elderly parents who live nearby.

“Instead of the ambulance getting here in 10 minutes, it takes 30 minutes," said Spring. "It is shouldn’t take this long to get repaired. Years ago, we had less money and less equipment and the bridge stayed for years.”

Spring says she has called local and state officials to no avail.

“My fear is they don’t want to rebuild it and that is going to put a lot of people out and lot of people in trouble," said Spring.

3 On Your Side reached out to the supervisor in this district about the bridge issues and is still waiting on his response.

“It is nothing personal against them," said Spring. "We love the county in which we live but we need to stand up for our people, especially the elderly. We just want it done.”

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