CATEGORY: Chickasaw County
HED: Chickasaw Bridge to be stronger but shorter
By Eileen Bailey
HOUSTON - When Chickasaw County officials are through fixing the Simpson Bridge north of Houston, the county's longest bridge will be a little shorter, but a lot stronger.
The 540-foot span, once a rotting wooden structure, will be transformed into a concrete and steel bridge 360 feet long.
County officials began the $150,000 project two months ago and expect to complete work by the end of the year.
Not only was the bridge on County Road 52 the longest in the county. It is Chickasaw's largest bridge reconstruction project, financed entirely by county taxpayers, County Road Manager Johnnie Kimbrough said.
The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District helped with manpower and equipment, he said.
In the past 5 1/2 years, 19 bridges in the county have been rebuilt or repaired, Kimbrough said.
Work on the Simpson Bridge spanning Houlka Creek was planned for more than a year as county officials budgeted money and decided how to repair it, he said.
The bridge has been closed because much of the wood has rotted.
The shutdown has caused some inconveniences for area residents who must make detours around the construction, Kimbrough said.
But he said he hopes the inconvenience will soon end. The project is about halfway completed, he said.
Weather remains the most significant factor in completing the work.