County road plan focuses on bridges

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Bridges will be the emphasis of Neshoba County’s recently updated four-year Road and Bridge Plan.

Neshoba County in recent years has replaced bridges on county roads 561, 397, 624 and 628.

“The primary priority for the county is bridges,” said Jeff Mayo, county administrator. “That’s not to say that resealing roads isn’t important. Bridges are playing a huge role federally, state and in the county.

“Right now, we have a bridge on County Road 705 that is in construction. That was our only other closed bridge before the most recent round of bridge inspections.”

The county is using state Local System Bridge Program money to help fund the $1,037,100 cost for the 705 project, which is located in the southeast part of the county. 

Also, a bridge on County Road 834 is opened and due to be replaced with LSBP money. County Road 834 is located in the north central part of the county, north of Burnside.

The State Aid/Federal Aid Road Program is another source of money for bridge replacement.

The county plans to use this money to replace a bridge on County Road 739 at the cost of $540,300. It is expected to be a box culvert and is being designed now. County Road 739 is in the eastern part of the county, south of Mississippi 16.

But these bridges aren’t the biggest problem. A bridge on County Road 210, which overpasses the non-used Kansas City Southern railway connector running from Union to Sebastopol, must be replaced. It is expected to cost approximately $2 million to replace to meet railroad overpass standards, even though the railroad isn’t using it anymore and has no plans to do so.

“This has caused an 11-mile detour,” Mayo said. “210 comes from Highway 492 west of Union to west to Highway 21 to below Dixon and north of Sebastopol.

“It is one of the main thoroughfares back from Union to western Neshoba County to Walnut Grove in Leake County. The bridge is currently closed. We are working to get it temporarily reopened.”

Money doesn’t grow on trees. As the Federal Aid Program funds have been and are being utilized to perform bridge inspections across Mississippi, no immediate future funding is anticipated from these funds. If funds become available Neshoba County will seek any available funding.

According to the plan, the primary emphasis on roads during the next four years will be to maintain the existing road system and re-surface as many miles of existing hard surface road as available funds will permit.

“We had 32.70 miles in the reseal program that we had previously programed,” Mayo said. “But with the emphasis on the bridges, we are asking to use both LSBP funds and state aid funds of about $1 million apiece to get the 210 bridge done.

It costs approximately $40,000 to reseal 1 mile of county road. If you use state aid money, it will cost approximately $50,000 because of the additional requirements.

“This will diminish our state aid reseal money this term by $600,000, and we will do about $1.1 million in resealing,” Mayo said.


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